May 23, 2022

Online subscription platform Substack today announced the launch of a reading app for iOS. In a blog post about the announcement, the company revealed that its new “Substack Reader” app consolidates all of your Substack subscriptions into one place where you can read the content of the authors you follow. For writers, Substack says the new app will allow them to better connect with their readers, as well as give them more rights to their content and mailing list. Authors can also send newsletters and podcasts directly to readers’ inboxes.

According to the company, the main goal of the app is to provide users with an easy way to read posts and find new authors on Substack. The application allows you to combine your newsletters into a dedicated mailbox and get notified when the author you follow publishes a new post.

As soon as you open the app, you will be taken to your inbox where you will see new newsletters from all the authors you follow. When you click on a post, you can use the bottom navigation bar to view and post comments. The main home page has a Discover tab where you can search or view recommended authors. You can browse content by category including technology, politics, travel, podcasts, art, and more in Discover. The navigation bar also includes a Library tab where you can view your archived posts and podcasts and manage your paid and free subscriptions.

Substack says that while the core framework is “done”, it’s time to move beyond email and the web with the launch of new applications.

The Substack blog post states: “The app helps bring Substack together into an ecosystem by allowing you to tap an icon on the home screen that opens up a plethora of quality work from the authors you work with. I trust the most.” “This is a deep relationship app, an alternative to the mindless scrolling and cheap dopamine hits that hide behind other home screen icons. It provides a quiet reading space where the work itself hits the headlines and you don’t get bogged down in status games or trivial distractions. And it amplifies the network effects that already exist in the substack, making it easier for writers to reach new clients and for readers to find and sample substack they might not otherwise find.

Substack plans to launch new features and functionality for the app as it develops, given that this is only the first version of the app. To launch Android, users can currently register on a waitlist, the company said.

Today’s announcement comes after Substack recently revealed that it is testing video uploads in a closed beta. As with existing newsletter posts, creators can decide whether or not to post videos behind a paywall. This feature adds another creative way for newsletter publishers to engage their subscribers. Substack authors can record or upload videos directly to the platform, whether they are published from mobile devices or the web. Videos can be up to 20 GB in size and support 3GP, AAC, AVI, FLV, MP4, MOV, and MPEG-2 file types. In email versions, the video appears as a clickable image. This new app allows content creators to post videos directly to subscribers’ inboxes.

The launch of the new app is expected to help Substack compete better with other companies in the ever-growing newsletter market. Social media companies like Facebook and Twitter are working to integrate newsletters into their offerings, Facebook launched its “Bulletin” rival Substack last year, and Twitter has been working to make its acquisition of Review more visible on its platform.

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