Everything we know about Post, a publisher-focused Twitter alternative

7 mins read
Everything we know about Post, a publisher-focused Twitter alternative

Post, a Twitter alternative where users can make micropayments to read news articles, launched its public beta this week.

The initiative (like many others) gained traction after Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter left many looking for a new medium to read news, discuss and share their thoughts with their followers. But Post doesn’t want to be just another Twitter clone. Instead, it aims to develop a platform that publishers can monetize.

But who would pay for news that can be read for free elsewhere? This question ignores how awful the experience of reading free news on the web today is.

Let’s look at what happens when we try to read a news story: Ads and internal promotions are everywhere, even in the middle of articles as we scroll down in an effort to read. Videos often play automatically in their own pop-up window. Cookie consent banners pop up, trying to trick us into agreeing to provide multiple pieces of data. Notifications asking us to buy a subscription or sign up for a publisher’s newsletter appear at the top of the screen, forcing us to make a choice.

[su_posts posts_per_page=”1″ tax_term=”22938″ offset=”1″ order=”desc” orderby=”id” post_status=”any” ignore_sticky_posts=”yes”]

Noam Bardin, founder and CEO of Post, explains the purpose of the initiative as follows: “When you go to many news sites today, you are bombarded by ads and subscription forms. You just wanted to read an article. We think we can bring a new business model to the advertising and subscription world with a great user experience.”

Bardin told TechCrunch that the current subscription structure, with the exception of The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, is less than stellar, with publishers recognizing that traffic from social media posts doesn’t typically convert visitors into subscribers, and that subscribers are only a fraction of larger readerships. “Everyone agrees there’s a problem. But no one wants to be the first.”

Post first launched as a closed beta in November 2022, and the number of people on the waiting list quickly reached 650,000. Of those, 430,000 actually created an account. That’s when some of the publishers had a change of heart.

The company currently has 25 premium publishers

Post, which entered public beta at a time when Twitter was angering publishers by rolling back its approval icon, is now offering to pay publishers.

The startup has already signed up partners including The Boston Globe, The Brookings Institution, Fortune, The Independent, Insider, LA Times, NBC News, Politico, ProPublica, Reuters, Semafor, SF Chronicle, MIT Technology Review, USA Today, Wired, World Politics Review and Yahoo Finance.

Fortune, The Independent, LA Times, Reuters, MIT Technology Review, USA Today and Wired are among those who have tried the micropayment option. Today, the company has 25 premium publishers. More than a hundred publishers are reportedly in various stages of the deal, with local news publishers, for example, waiting for additional functionality to be added to the platform.

Bardin wouldn’t share figures for the Post’s current active user base, but he said that once the 50 free points given upon signup run out, 80 percent of people enter their credit card details to buy more. That’s a promising rate, but it’s too early to tell, as Twitter alternatives have a long way to go in trying to attract a mainstream user base.

Everything we know about Post, a publisher-focused Twitter alternative 1
Screenshot Post.

In the app, it is up to a publisher how much they want to charge for their articles. Scrolling through the feed, you can see fees as low as 1 point and as high as 89 points. Over time, Post is working on other payment plans, including “pay what you want” and “buy one, share one” options, with the first few articles per month free.

Much like a pre-Elon Twitter, Post has a set of rules about user behavior. But it is unclear how the line between temporary and permanent bans will be drawn. The approach to free speech is simple: “You don’t have the right to be an asshole when it comes to people.”

In addition, the Post aims to use artificial intelligence technologies to personalize its news feed. As some of our readers may know, this idea is currently being tested by Artifact, the news app from Instagram’s co-founders. Post also predicts that most of its users will not be active content producers. An old internet adage says that most people on a service consume content but don’t interact or produce it. But somehow this vast majority is often forgotten when services are designed.

“They don’t broadcast them. You don’t hear them,” Bardin says:

“75 percent of Twitter users have never tweeted. People use Twitter to consume information, but it’s really designed for people who produce information.”

Post quietly removed the invitation requirement a few weeks ago. While the startup doesn’t talk about active usage, Similarweb’s data shows that the site peaked its traffic in December 2022 with more than 5.19 million monthly visits. The firm estimates that the Post had around 946,120 total daily users in the last 28 days. Not bad for the crowded alt-Twitter market these days, where Mastodon has 1.2 million monthly active users.

Summarized from a Techcrunch story.


The ancient idea tries to provide the most accurate information to its readers in all the content it publishes.

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