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It Was A Big Mistake To Remove The Write and Edit Function From The Medium App

  • 3 min read

Medium is losing paying members because of this decision.

For the first time in my career as an online writer, I lost 2 (!) (long-time) referred members in just 7 days.

Here’s the proof:

I was wondering:

Is it me? Is it my content?

So I reached out to one of them (I keep track of my referred members) and asked why he/she left Medium.

This is what he/she said:

I do most of my reading and writing on my smartphone. (…) As a result, while I like Medium as a publishing platform, I can’t really write here anymore. (…)

I’m looking for a new digital home for my (…) stories.

In fact, 50% of Medium users access Medium via their smartphone.

50% are desktop users.

Nevertheless, in the mid of March 2022, Medium removed writing and editing from its mobile app:

…we’ve made the difficult decision to remove story editing features from our native apps…

For most writers, this was a shock.

From one day to the next the write button, as well as the edit menu, were gone.

Plus the listing of draft stories.

Does anyone know exactly why Medium did this?

A lot of (new) writers asked why Medium got this brilliant idea.

Why do they reduce the functionality of the mobile app although 50% of its users access the platform via their smartphone?

As a manager myself I guess that Medium’s decision is based on data analysis:

  • The marketing team probably saw that app users just weren’t writing all that much in general.
  • Then they decided that dedicating resources to in-app writing just wasn’t worth it.

What about writing on the go lovers?

For writers who write and edit as inspiration ignites, Medium has effectively ruined the mobile experience.

A lot of writers are night owls. They love to write in the middle of the night when they wake up and have an idea, they grab their phones and then get back to sleep.

I know that a lot of writers (who love to write whenever and wherever they are in the world) still adjust to writing on the go without the phone.

If you say:

I just need to write on my phone!

Here’s my tip:

  • Use Google Docs instead.

I love it.

Final takeaways

Here’s my final take from a PR and Marketing as well as user-centric perspective:

  • Medium has effectively ruined the mobile experience.
  • It was a really poor move on Medium’s part especially because they didn’t explain WHY they removed the writing and editing feature.
  • Their lack of decent communication with their writers is actually really poor for a communication-based platform.

Perhaps the feature will come back bigger and better at a later date? What do you think?

© Kristina God


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