Medium, a new publishing platform by Evan Williams – Twitter’s co-founder – firstly was launched in 2012 as a double version of Twitter which was supposed to allow to publish writings without 140-words limitation. Who could predict that a simply blog host would evolve into one of the most promising platforms for social journalism.

 

What Medium is today

Created as a ground up, Medium at its very beginning showed almost no progress in rising its quality. The next year by 2013 the platform still was very small and occupied about 98% of Williams’s time. Step-by-step Medium started to speed up its expansion and at this very spring on April such big publishers as The Awl, FemSplain, Pacific Standard, and FilmSchoolRejects moved their archives on the platform.

It’s clear enough what gets Medium from such collaboration: qualified and free content produced by professional journalists, bloggers and amateurs. In fact there is no difference if you are an experienced publisher or a housekeeper, if you have a story to tell, you are welcome on Medium.

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Today Medium is a rapidly growing up platform which provides media companies with tools to express their identities on it. It’s opened its doors to publishers who are eager to find new opportunities to reach new audience.

And this untapped content distribution channel creates a sustainable way for publishers to reach their audience. To reach this audience Medium gives publishers a «one-stop-shop» and main features are the ability to plug in branded content and manage reader membership.

Currently the platform tries to figure out the how the brands are using Medium for content marketing and there are also some monetization features planed.

 

How Medium treats the publishers

Firstly, becoming a part of Medium publishers are giving up their visual identity. The platform has its own rigorous scopes which means that all posts on it have the same look and there is no freedom for self-actualization in terms of avatars, inline materials, borders, front and any details. Moreover, the editor-in-chief does not rule the situation anymore. It’s all about Medium who gets the right to delete any content for any particular reason. And that is the problem.

However, the platform asserts users to provide access to rapidly growing network and meaningful collaborations, a product development team, guarantees no supplementary investments in tech part and lets the publishers to be worried only about content creation. And that is how Medium helps publishers to optimize their reader-base:

Capture email addresses whenever possible, to continue to maintain a 1:1 relationship with your readers (so that you can collect their data to build your own database, too).
• In addition to bringing your branding to Medium, make sure to generate visibility around your products and services. If you’re hosting a conference or looking to promote your education products, Medium can be a powerful channel for generating awareness.

The way Medium builds up its selling point is stimulation its client base which is made by native advertising and sponsorships. That way The Ringer is sponsored by Miller Lite, and there is no more banner ads.

One of its benefits which Medium got from such engagements is prestige. Some famous publishers on the web such as president Obama or Joshua Topolsky attracts more and more others and highly regarded publications by popular creators brings the platform legitimacy.

And according to Daniel Gehant from Copper Insights there are still some cons in Medium:

• The audience isn’t really yours – you may lose them after they finish your piece.
• You are competing with other authors/writers – your stuff needs to stand out
• Lack of control (as has been mentioned by several others) – you do not have full control around the user experience

There is also one more way to promote Medium content via Twitter. According to Ashley Friedleign’s Twitter campaign just in 24 hours it is possible to gain 800 clicks at £0.45 for one click from 80,000 impressions and 30 retweets.

However, some publishers claim that the percentage of views they receive via Medium is near 10% which is not bad but still is not the top of it.

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What the Future brings

The main danger is that in future Medium can change itself with some new features and algorithms as Facebook does. And no one will be able to prevent it. According to the fact that Google and Facebook are already making 85 cents on each dollar being investment online, Medium seemed to becoming a blogging answer to these unicorns. And that all looks like a freewill mancipation.

Some insiders say the site is looking froward to compete with such publishing tools as WordPress and several time ago Even Williams mentioned that such platforms are the future of media.

In fact Medium’s focus on potential growths leads to the Facebook’s path. The only way for platform to differentiate itself is to work harder on native advertising support and support for payrolls.

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