Is Medium a Social Media Platform?

4 min readMay 8, 2019
Photo by Kyle Glenn on Unsplash

It sure looks like the next stage of the model

Facebook is losing users. Instagram is picking up older users. LinkedIn is just as kludgy and sort of necessary as ever. Twitter is the POTUS channel. Is Medium a social network? I’d argue that it definitely is, and it is a better one.

Stories are the glue of social interaction

Medium’s focus on stories about virtually anything is a brilliant strategy for growth. Everything we learn, we learn from either hearing stories or creating them. In fact, once our language skills evolved enough to convey more complex ideas and more abstract notions like myths and time-shifting, we as homo sapiens made a leap forward evolution-wise, and we have not stopped since. The ability to share made-up stories as examples and guides for behavior gave us a huge collective boost and helped us work together on longer term projects.

Dialog is the essence of the Medium style

After a couple of months of regularly writing and commenting on Medium I’ve realized that thoughtful comments are the glue that connects on the site, just as they are on all the other social platforms. But Medium is doing a better job curating what we see, in part because that curation is still done by humans. Algorithmic curation is still pretty primitive, as any Facebook user will tell you. In fact, in their quest to magically automate the story selection on Facebook, they have killed much of its humanity. Medium feels much more like a community, a community brought together not by our history of connections but by shared interests.

Somehow politics has not infiltrated Medium

My Facebook feed has essentially been destroyed by political dialog and I can’t help but think that Facebook encourages this. It is driven by ads of course. Medium’s decision to not use an ad-based model means they do not have any internal pressure to curate for certain subjects over other less profitable ones. They can curate for quality and by popular demand for a subject. And it is much harder to ‘game’ the way other social networks are being gamed (it may be that it is imply not on the radar of fake news or the $5/month charge…


Mastodon:, Writer, nine non-fiction books, two novels, Buddhist, train lover. Amateur cook, lover of life most of the time!