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Late Friday night, when people tried to respond to tweets with Substack links, they saw something strange. Not only could they not comment on tweets with Substack links, but they also couldn’t like or retweet linked articles on the platform.
Substack users also said that while they could still share links on the platform, which is now owned by Elon Musk, they couldn’t comment on their own tweets to make a Twitter thread.
So far as we know, Twitter has blocked links from the online publishing platform Substack that are embedded on its platform. The company has also cut back on how tweets with links to Substack posts can be promoted and seen. As we’ve already said, users can still put links to Substack in their tweets, but that’s about it as far as interaction and exposure go.
Susbtack told the person what was going on by saying that it was looking into the situation. “We’re looking into reports that Substack no longer works with Twitter embeds and authentication. “We are working hard to find a solution and will let you know as soon as we know more,” the company said in a statement.
On the other hand, its founders, Chris Best, Jairaj Sethi, and Hamish McKenzie, put out a statement criticizing Twitter’s move. “Twitter has started blocking links to Substack. We hope that this was done by mistake and is only for a short time. Writers should be able to share links to Substack or anywhere else they want… “If writers and creators don’t own their relationships with their audiences, they aren’t in charge,” they said in a statement.
This writer- and reader-first model represents the future of the internet.
While incumbents may take actions to stymie this shift, we’ll be working hard to ensure that writers and creators get only more ownership and control of their futures. https://t.co/P8xl9ideKv
— Substack (@SubstackInc) April 7, 2023
Twitter, though, hasn’t yet made a statement about the situation.
Why has Twitter Restricted Substack on its Platform?
It isn’t difficult to assume that the discontent stems from the publishing platform creating its own Notes function, which is very similar to Twitter’s own Notes feature, even if Twitter hasn’t explicitly stated whether the entire incident was an error or a planned action. “Writers will be able to upload brief content on Notes and exchange ideas with one another and their readers… The business had stated in its announcement of the function that notes would enable users to recommend nearly anything, including posts, quotes, comments, photographs, and links. Hence, preventing engagement on Substack links might be Twitter’s strategy for fending off rivals.