Medium has reinvented itself many times over, but one facet of its identity seems to be sticking: it’s becoming the writing platform of choice for billionaires, billionaire politicians, and anti-billionaire politicians alike.
On Friday, senator and presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren published a blog post on Medium with her plan to break up Big Tech, including Facebook, Google, and Amazon. Gotta love the use of a tech platform to call out the tech industry.
But this wasn’t the first time eyeballs flocked to Medium for a major — if slightly more salacious — announcement. In February, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos chose Medium to make his bombshell announcement that the National Enquirer was trying to blackmail him with dick pics, and that he was not afraid!
As CEO of Amazon, Bezos will likely be at odds with Warren for years to come. But at least they’re united in their love of Medium.
Another Warren adversary used Medium for a big announcement of his own. Presidential hopeful and Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz published a post on Medium defending his decision to run for president, essentially issuing a “screw the haters” message.
Evan Williams, a former Twitter CEO and creator of a popular mid-aughts blogging platform, Blogger, founded Medium in 2012 as an alternative way for people to share and discover ideas online. Based in San Francisco, but with operations in both San Francisco and New York, it attracted 60 million monthly readers in 2017, when it launched its . It unveiled four in 2019.
Medium has a hybrid model as both a place where anyone can post things for free (a platform) and a news outlet (a publisher). This to call it a “Platisher” in 2014, declaring, “A new generation of media companies is experimenting with opening their content-management systems to outsiders.”
That hybrid model has led to some missteps. Medium’s publisher efforts have launched, shut down, and re-launched several times, with layoffs and shutdowns in both and , and the most recent re-launch currently underway.
Medium allows users to publish for free and pays editorial staffers and freelance writers. BuzzFeed has a somewhat similar model, which came under fire after layoffs and the discovery that one of its most popular content creators was an unpaid teenager responsible for 700 viral quizzes.
This year, along with its new editorial publications, Medium become the hot place for high-profile personalities like Schultz, Bezos, and Warren to reach out to the public. Keep your eyes peeled, chances are we’ll see more big announcements on Medium soon.