How do I start a Chat thread?

Substack Chat is available on the web and the Substack app.

To start a new thread, tap the Chat icon on the bottom row of the Substack app or click on Chat in your profile drop-down menu on the web. If you have Chat enabled, you'll see a row for your publication.


Tap your row and then select "Start a New Thread". 

Note: Each chat thread that you start can include text, links, and up to six images.


Type a message you'd like to share with your subscribers. 

  • To add an image: Tap on the picture icon to select photos from your device.
  • To share a link: Long-press within the thread body to paste a link. If the link you're sharing has a preview, it will appear.
  • Choose your audience: If you'd like only paid subscribers to access this thread, tap on the toggle next to "Paid subscribers only".
  • Send as email: Tap the toggle to the right to send an email notification to your subscribers letting them know you've started a new Chat thread.

Once you've finished composing a message on the Substack app, click on the up arrow and your thread will appear in the Chat.


On web, compose your message and click on "Post".

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How are subscribers notified about Chat?

When you post your first chat, we'll notify your subscribers via email. Your subscribers won't be emailed about any following chat threads but if they have notifications enabled on the Substack app, they'll receive a push notification about any new threads.

Can my subscribers start a new thread?

You can now let other members of your Substack community initiate a new thread in your publication's Chat.

On desktop, head to your publication's Settings page and scroll to the Chat section.

  • Payments enabled: Next to "Who can start threads", select which type of reader you'd like to be able to start a new thread on your Chat. The options are publication contributors, founding members, paid subscribers, or free subscribers.

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  • Free publications: Free publications will see the options for publication contributors and subscribers.

Note: Publication contributors, founding members, and paid subscribers can start chat threads but any subscriber, free and paid, can participate and respond to the threads.

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