The whole point of having a newsletter is to control the distribution of content.

I don’t know when this started, but I’m almost certain it wasn’t possible to just follow people on Substack before. I also don’t know if they are promoting or stimulating the “follow” option, but the number of people following me without subscribing to my newsletter is increasing every day.

Below is the difference, clipped from Substacks Help Center:

Follower: They’ll see your notes and some reading activity such as post likes. When someone follows you, you won’t receive their email, so they won’t get posts in their inbox.

Free subscriber: They’ll subscribe to your Substack and receive free posts via email and/or the Substack app. They’ll automatically follow you and see your notes in their feed.

In other words, if someone is following you, there is no email address, and if you want to switch services, you won’t be able to take the followers with you. That’s not a newsletter. It’s social media.

In a world where more and more services are embracing to the Fediverse, Substack’s move to a closed system is mind-boggling to me. But just leaving the service wasn’t enough. I had to share this information with you. So, if you have a newsletter on Substack, maybe it’s time to start to reevaluate your strategy.

I’m not sure when I’ll be leaving, but it’s likely to happen sooner than later. For now, if you want to make sure to follow me to my next newsletter chapter and keep getting my monthly emails, please don’t follow me. Subscribe.