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Is Medium Going to be the Next Social Media Behemoth?

Medium can be thought of as Twitter's younger but taller sibling. Created by Twitter co-founder Evan Williams, Medium is a social media service designed with longer posts and comments in mind. It can be connected to your Twitter and it's basically the same as Twitter only without the added things like being able to post GIFs. It's a simple service where you can scroll through articles, choose what you want to read by opening the read more and then you can scroll through the comments below if you so wish.

It's basically what Twitter seems to want to be with its rumoured longer post limit, if that ever happens. And it's been proven that Medium works. Medium has been used by many people already well known to us from Barack Obama to the Fine Brothers and since its conception the service has had over two million posts published to its site. It's a huge amount for a site that is essentially a long form version of Twitter. But like Twitter, it's a safe space where people can post what they like provided it doesn't threaten anyone. Hate speech and harassment will still be reported and removed but they won't take down anyone's opinion just because they disagree with it. It's a difficult path to follow but why Medium is growing in popularity.

There are horror stories that prove that maybe Medium isn't such a safe space. A Yelp employee was recently fired after posting an open letter of complaint to the company owner on there. When you read it you can understand why she was upset but many of the comments were saying she had nothing to complain about. They were telling her that if she was going to do a minimum wage job she shouldn't have moved somewhere expensive and that she was too entitled. That rang as unfair to me as she mentioned how many other people in her office were struggling in the same way but obviously it's not the company's fault. Following the infamy the post produced, a single mother, Jaymee Senigaglia, has just this week posted on Medium about how and why she was fired by Yelp. She explained how she worked hard and why she needed time off and how they hadn't listened. Many people rallied to her side and when they responded on Twitter saying she was fired for other reasons, she posted again on Medium arguing with them. It makes the two sites seem even more entwined and it's interesting that this Yelp warfare is being waged from this site that wasn't otherwise hugely known. But Medium does have tools for starting more intelligent conversation that allows for this sort of thing. Your posts can be longer but people don't have to read them all and if people wish to respond to a particular point then they can highlight that in their comment as well as just like the post. It makes the whole thing more practical and it's what many people probably like.

So why is Medium becoming big news other than these two former Yelp employees? Well Williams and staff have decided it's time to try and monetize Medium. This won't mean adverts everywhere as it wouldn't look right but sponsored posts. Depending on who was trying to sell what on their platform that could either do really well or it could flop spectacularly. They're also looking into a pay wall or subscriber content; this would probably work a bit like Snapchat's Discover feature only you'll pay for it. You'll pay to subscribe to certain followers and you'll see that new content when it comes up.

Medum are also looking into podcasts and video which are other forms they could quite easily get money from. They want their main focus to stay on writing and feel that they could still make a lot of money out text. They look on Medium as a journalistic site, a place where skilled writers can find an audience and a way to make money. It might be a smarter site to do it on then say, the instant articles Facebook are now allowing anyone to publish but it's interesting as to how they're going to make the site stand out even more.

Medium is definitely a social media service that more people need to be using. Whether they manage to successfully make money out of the service though is another thing completely.

Rosina is a Songbird rookie with a degree in Creative Writing. She's trying to focus on her novel on the side but is hoping that Content Writing will turn out to be a good career choice in the mean time! Follow her @RosinaAtSMF

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Is Medium Going to be the Next Social Media Behemoth? Reviewed by Unknown on Friday, March 04, 2016 Rating: 5

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