How does following work on Substack?

For readers who want to find the best things written online today, following on Substack enables you to discover new writers in your Home feed via the people you trust and admire—whether it's your contacts or other readers on the Substack network. 

With the following, you can:

  • Find contacts: Sync phone contacts to see which of your friends are on Substack

  • Follow each other: Follow friends, other readers, and discover new writers

  • See activity: See profiles, notes, and reading activity such as likes from your follows

  • Invite friends: Invite your contacts to join Substack

What is the difference between a follower and a subscriber?

When you follow a writer or reader, you'll see their notes and some reading activity such as post likes in your Home feed. You won't get emails from profiles you follow and you won’t get posts in your Inbox. 

When you subscribe to a Substack publication, you share your email and receive their posts via email and/or the Substack app. If you're a paying subscriber, you can view exclusive posts, notes, and chat threads that the writer wants to share just for paid readers. 

If you're a writer with a publication, your profile will display the options for readers to follow you or subscribe to your publication. If you're a reader, your profile will have the "Follow" option.

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How can I see who follows me and how many followers I have?

On your Substack profile, anyone can see your followers list to see who follows you and who you are following–this is public by default and cannot be hidden. The exact follower count is not shown on your profile.

If you're a writer with a Substack, we'll also display a small list of your subscribers. The exact subscriber count will not be shown to readers and only an estimated count will be displayed (100+, 1K+, etc.).

Note: We only show your public subscriptions on your Substack profile. To edit your subscription privacy settings, follow these steps here.

How do I follow or unfollow someone on Substack?

If you see an interesting like or restack in your Home feed and want to see more from that person, you can click on the three-dot menu and select "Follow".

Three dot.png

To see more details about a writer or reader on Substack, head to their profile. Here, you can click on the person icon to start following them.

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Tip: To unfollow a reader on Substack, click on the person icon and you'll stop seeing their notes and reading activity. If you're subscribed to a publication on Substack, you'll automatically follow them. If you unsubscribe from the publication, you'll also unfollow them.

How do I manage my Home feed and who appears there?

By default, you follow all the Substacks that you're subscribed to. If you connect your contacts or connect your Facebook to your Substack account, you can follow your friends and discover new writers.

You can follow someone without subscribing to their Substack and likewise, you can unfollow someone without unsubscribing from their publication.

How do I know when I get a new follower on Substack?

When someone on Substack follows you, you'll be notified by email and also see a notification in your Activity bell.

To stop receiving emails about new people who follow you on Substack, click "Unsubscribe" in the email itself or head to your Substack profile Settings and click the toggle to the left next to "New followers".


How do I remove a follower?

On your Substack profile, select "See followers". On the Followers tab, click on the user that you'd like to remove.

On their Substack profile, click the three-dot hamburger menu and select "Block". They'll be removed from your followers list and you won't be able to see their notes. They'll also be blocked from subscribing to your publication.

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Note: Substack has a system-imposed limit on the number of people a user can follow. This is designed to prevent spam and maintain the quality of interactions on the platform. If you reach this limit and need to follow new people, consider managing your current follows by unfollowing profiles that are no longer active or of interest. 

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