Now piloting: Substack Threads
A new way to cultivate conversations and community with your subscribers
Today we’re introducing Substack Threads: a feature we’re testing that gives writers a dedicated space to host richer conversations with subscribers.
As we said recently, we’ve seen many successful Substacks evolve into far more than just an email newsletter. Writers are hosting book clubs, live events with subscribers, and sourcing ideas and inspiration directly from their reader communities. There is great beauty and power in writers having their own “private social network,” where they set the rules of engagement, and where they own the relationships with all the members.
With Threads, we hope to make it simpler than ever to connect with the people who care the most about your work—all in an intimate, controlled, and private space. You can interact casually with subscribers and cultivate a vibrant paid community without having to compete in a news feed algorithmically optimized for engagement.
To begin, we’ve added a new Threads tab to the Substack app for iOS for a select group of publications and their readers. Each Substack in the pilot gets its own Thread, a dedicated space where writers can kickstart conversations. When writers share text, images, and links directly from the app, readers can react and reply.
We take seriously the challenge of designing vibrant and healthy spaces for conversations on Substack, so we’re starting small and plan to evolve the product and expand the pilot as we learn from writers’ experiences.
The partner publications who are helping us build this feature are role models for community-building on Substack. They will be launching their Threads over the next couple weeks, and you can subscribe to join the conversation:
Terrell Johnson’s The Half Marathoner covers running, reading, and living
Suleika Jaouad’s The Isolation Journals transforms life’s interruptions into creative grist
Darryl Cooper’s Martyr Made podcasts on history, religion, nationalism and identity
Elle Griffin’s The Novelleist discusses being an artist in the age of the internet
Marc Stein’s The Stein Line shares insider coverage of the NBA
Bill Bishop’s Sinocism is helping you get smarter about China
Haley Nahman’s Maybe Baby chips away at the inscrutability of modern life and popular culture