USA Today has been named the “first major publishing partner” in the Post, the Twitter rival founded last year by the former CEO of traffic and navigation app Waze.
A small number of other publishers such as Reuters and Yahoo Finance have also begun testing the new platform, although founder Noam Bardin did not describe it in the same way.
Bardin, who ran Waze from 2009 to 2021, created Post in November when many Twitter users were unsure about the platform’s future following Elon Musk’s takeover.
Twitter users were reconsidering whether to stay on the platform based on Musk’s content moderation decisions, though the anti-Twitter mood seems to have died down since then, though and that numerous journalists were briefly suspended in December for reporting on the banning of an account that tracked the movements of Musk’s private jet.
However, editors have been looking at Post to decide whether it’s worth joining. Publishing allows users to write short posts, repost from other pages, follow accounts to appear in a personalized feed, follow topics, and in doing so create “micro-communities” and participate in discussions under the content.
Publishers and other creators can add a cost of “Publish Points” to their posts – one point equals one penny. The platform’s FAQ section reads: “We believe creators should be rewarded for the hard work they’ve put into creating quality content.”
Content from our partners
What does Post offer publishers?
Another FAQ shares Post’s big ambitions for building relationships with publishers: “Post is a news discovery platform that helps publishers and content creators discover and monetize new audiences on social media,” it says.
“Publishers can join the Post to distribute their premium content on a paid model and grow new consumers from readers to followers and subscribers.”
Bardin said he had already been working on the intersection between news and social media before Twitter’s turbulent year-end, writing: “I think the future of the newspaper is the channel and I want to make it more civil for users, profitable for publishers and better for society.”
He has since said one of his goals for the platform is to “capture big publishers,” adding: “We want to let you read premium news from multiple publishers. We have some big surprises for you.” Post is focused on American publishers for now, but has plans to go global, he said.
USA Today joined on Monday and published more than 85 posts on the platform within 24 hours. Until now, all posts have cost a point to read ad-free and in the feed, meaning without waiting for external links to load, but Bardin said in his announcement of the brand’s arrival that the your premium content could cost up to eight points.
Caroline Harris, vice president of digital distribution for USA Today owner Gannett, said the brand had teamed up with the Post to bring its ‘To the Point’ journalism “to a new platform, sharing our content and journalism with readers around the world.
“As the first major publishing partner, our content will provide Post users with accessible, real-time news to educate new audiences and promote civil conversation,” Harris said in a statement.
In a comment under its first post, the USA Today account told users that it planned to encourage more of its reporters to sign up for the Post “after we get our bearings.”
One user responded to the publisher: “We appreciate the one-point transaction that gives us the ability to read content from outlets like USA Today without the noise of ads.
“When I can create a channel with the main points of sale and do a little filtering, it will help me start to increase the use of the points of the items.”
Publish payments for publishers and creators
Reuters content in the Post ranges in price from free to five cents. Yahoo Finance, which has so far been targeted less frequently than USA Today and Reuters, has made all of its content free although, like others, users who enjoy their work can leave a “tip.”
Some users quickly reported that they were inundated with content from USA Today and Reuters on their feeds due to the amount of content they produce. Bardin replied: “The plan is to (1) have a separate feed just for premium news (2) divide their feeds by topics (business, sports, etc.), (3) allow you to follow Topics so that only articles that fit the The topic will appear and (4) customize your news feed specifically to your interests.”
When publishers apply to set up an account on Post, they are asked details such as whether they want to set up an automated content feed, whether they want their content to be displayed natively, and whether they want their content to appear natively in the post along with promoting tools that ask people to follow, tip, sign up for their newsletters or subscribe.
NBC News is creating posts on the platform, but directs users to its own website instead of providing content to the feed. A few others, like Insider and Byline Times, have created accounts but haven’t published much content yet.
Bardin has also called on Substack and other newsletter writers to make their content available in publishing channels so people can access it in a different way from their email inboxes. He wrote: “Email is a great delivery vehicle, but it shouldn’t be the only option. For people to discover your content, they should be able to read it (not necessarily for free) to assess whether it’s appropriate for your subscription. The choice is good.”
Bardin said writers would get 100% of whatever price they decide to put on their premium content, and the “points” micropayment option meant people could read without committing to a subscription.
How many users does Post have?
As of mid-December, according to the latest figures shared by Bardin, Post had about 530,000 people on its waiting list (users must be admitted to avoid overload) and 250,000 active accounts.
Bardin said his “ambitious” goal was for Post to support 50 million daily active users within a year of launch.
Post was named as a contender in the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism’s latest report on journalism, media and technology trends and predictions, released this week. The author of the report, Nic Newman, wrote: “This year we are likely to see the emergence of some alternatives to Twitter.
“Many will be looking at Post, a network created by former Waze CEO Noam Bardin. Still in beta mode, it has pledged to create a space for “civil conversations” and hopes to bring premium publishers to the platform with some type of micropayment system”.
When asked where they can go after Twitter to build their profiles, access information or distribute content, 9% of news leaders surveyed said there was a new network (including the Post) compared to the 10% that Mastodon said.
Mastodon has a microblogging feature similar to Twitter, but operates on a decentralized network. Users must register on a specific server when they join, although they can spend time and post on different servers. The Journa.host server, which calls itself “the reliable home for journalists”, currently has 1,800 active users.
However, The Guardian reported on Saturday that Mastodon is struggling to maintain the momentum it built as a highly touted alternative on Twitter in November. It went from 500,000 active users before Musk’s acquisition of Twitter in late October to more than 2.5 million in early December, but has since dropped to about 1.8 million.
e-mail email@example.com to point out bugs, provide story tips, or submit a letter to be posted on our “Letters Page” blog.