Substack has direct messages now

Substack newsletter writers and readers can now send direct messages to each other. The company says this was a highly requested feature and it adds to the platform’s slate of social networking tools.

You’ll find DMs in the Chat tab on the app and website. You can start a private conversation from that tab, someone’s profile page or by selecting the Share option on a note or post. When you get a DM, Substack will let you know in the app and by email.

By default, DMs from people you’re connected to will land in your inbox and those from others will drop into a Requests folder. Writers can restrict incoming DM requests to paid or founding subscribers. Free subscribers who try to message you will then see a prompt to become a paid subscriber. Writers can include a “send a message” button on their posts if they wish.

If you’ve blocked or banned someone, they won’t be able to send you a DM. You can also turn off DMs entirely by disabling message requests in your settings. If you receive a message that breaks Substack’s rules, you can report it.

Substack has added a number of social networking features over the last year or so, such as the X-like Notes function for short-form posts. It also last week updated a system that allows writers to recommend other scribes to readers.

The platform came under fire last month over its handling of pro-Nazi content. It removed five newsletters that promoted white nationalist and Nazi views. However, some prominent newsletter writers left Substack in protest over its approach to content moderation.

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