Substack’s Twitter-like feature, Notes, for shorter posts, will be available for everyone starting Tuesday. Notes could be a viable alternative to Twitter for Substack authors who have built their audiences on Substack and are searching for a new place for posting after Twitter banned Substack links from being used and declared them unsafe.
Substack’s Notes tab will be a separate tab. This means they’ll not appear alongside the Inbox tab’s full newsletters or the threads in Chat tab. Newsletters can also be read here. Substack recommends using Notes in blog posts to share “posts and quotes”, images and links. There is no limit on character count, Helen Tobin, Substack spokesperson, tells the Verge.
You can upload up to six images or GIFs per post, but video is not supported. The notes you share will not be sent to subscribers’ inboxes. They’ll only live on the Substack app and website. You can also interact with other Notes using the like, reply and “restack (retweets) buttons.Substack’s Notes.Image: Substack
You can view two feeds within the Notes tab: “Home”, and “Subscribed.” This shows you notes from writers that you subscribe to, and also “writers they recommended,” so you might see notes from people you don’t know. Only notes from subscribers will be shown in “Subscribed”
Notes was tested with “a small number of writers in the recent weeks.” Substack said that Notes is now in production and will be available for Substack authors to use to get subscribers. Substack believes Notes will be more effective than posting your Substack to Twitter and hoping people subscribe. Instead of hoping people follow the steps to sign up, Substack believes Notes will reach audiences that are already invested in the Substack ecosystem.
Notes is a bit like Twitter for me. I have used it briefly. It’s possible to see the publication of a writer under their name, and you can subscribe directly from the Note. This reduces friction when signing up for someone else’s newsletter.
Substack’s big creators have stated that they would be moving over to Notes. Substack may gain some traction if it can become the only place where you can read certain writers. However, Twitter has already largely removed its restrictions on Substack so it’s possible that some writers will choose to remain on Twitter even after the last week’s shenanigans.