Submit News | A new contender for the Twitter crown

Two weeks after Elon Musk bought Twitter, a new social network wants to take advantage of the turmoil: Post News. Behind the similar form hides a completely different model, where the content creator can be paid and the goal is to “bridge the gap between news and social networks” while providing a respectful environment. Five publications under 280 words to understand.

Where does Post News come from?

On November 14th, ironically, Noam Bardin announced on Twitter that Post News, a brand new social network, had launched in beta mode.

Little known to the general public, 51-year-old Noam Bardin was Google’s vice president of products from 2013 to 2021. During this mandate, since 2017, he has also been the chief executive of the Waze company he owns (“Chief Wazer”). By Google since 2013.

The undisclosed funding was provided by Andreessen Horowitz, a venture capital fund known as a16z. The paradox is that this fund allocated 400 million US dollars for Musk’s purchase of Twitter. A16z crypto is also a major investor in cryptocurrencies and web3 and has raised a total of $7.6 billion over nine years. Mr Bardin denied he was a “big fan” of cryptocurrencies.

Laurence Grondin-Robillard, PhD student in communication and lecturer in the School of Media at the University of Quebec in Montreal (UQAM), notes that “The Post News, as we can see, is really anchored in a functional capitalist system. I consider it opportunistic. It’s not necessarily a negative, but I’d wait a bit before starting. »

What is the main concept?

First, like Twitter, it’s a thread where you can send messages, subscribe to specific accounts, forward their posts to your followers, approve them with a like, or start a discussion. But we quickly note two main differences: we can give a “tip” (hint) to the author of the publication and after the last publication, may demand the amount to be paid in points from the interested persons to be able to read it. These points can be earned by paying with a credit card or by acquiring them from other users. One point is just 1¢ US. When we collect $5,000 or $50, we can cash them out through an intermediary called Stripe.


An example of creating a paid publication

A scan of our post feed still didn’t find many paid posts, which seem pretty rare. In particular, Reuters wants 5 or 3 points for certain stories.


Paid publication of Reuters

And that’s all? Posts for redeemable points?

No way. This is just Post’s mechanics. The philosophy of this new social network was summarized by one of its senior officials, Andrew Zalk. It’s “a place for people to discover, watch, discuss and share quality news content without subscriptions or ads.”

While there is more innocuous content like health wishes for the holidays or jokes about pets, most of the posts are about current events.

Another key principle, clearly in the context of Twitter allowing previously banned content, is to avoid postings that are considered toxic. “Posters”, the name given to the subscribers of this network, can express their differences without defaming the interlocutor, insulting them on the basis of gender, sexual orientation or ethnicity.

For meI All is not rosy for Grondin-Robillard, who could open his account this Thursday. After an extensive investigation into the platform’s data-use policies, which he found questionable, he was left red-faced. “There is a lot of information gathering. They use a lot like the others, but they don’t have ads. Who will they sell them to? »

And is moderation effective?

Founder Noam Bardin recognizes this in several publications, the challenge is daunting. “It’s a cat-and-mouse game,” he wrote. Bad players in our space have 15 years to improve their skills. It asks Posters to report any offensive posts and not encourage their authors. “If you come across a troll, report it and ignore it, don’t engage [dans un échange avec lui]. »

This is one of the reasons why we have deliberately restricted access to Mail since launch. The latest report, as of Dec. 21, shows a waiting list of 610,000 people who have applied for an account and 309,000 who have been accepted. After 60 hours of his request, the author of these lines was finally able to get an account. Post News is still in its infancy, and many features are still in the works, including a mobile app and a premium content feed.

Is Post News Really Threatening Twitter?

According to Elon Musk’s latest report on November 22, we have 309,000 confirmed subscribers on Twitter, and 259.4 million daily users on the other… A month after its birth, the Post is no longer in the same league. But another competitor, Mastodon, has grown rapidly, jumping from 300,000 users in October to 2.5 million on December 20, according to founder Eugen Rochko. Hive Social, another social network it announced on November 21, also used the Twitter storm to reach one million users.

Laurence Grondin-Robillard’s verdict: “I will stay, but with reservations. I try to be careful. I wouldn’t tell people who want to quit Twitter to go to Post. For example, he noted, he created empty shells, unused accounts, for some outlets, such as the Post. The New Yorker here we invite these publishers to subscribe to “Posters” to convince them to be active on the new social network. Without a single publication, account The New Yorker already has 22,410 subscribers. “I don’t like this aggressive technique to get the media. »

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