Getting started on the Substack app

Connect directly with the writers behind your favorite publications and fellow subscribers.

The Substack app puts new posts in a reading queue and pairs it with a discovery feed that showcases the vitality of the Substack network to help readers find things they love and value.

In this guide, we'll show you how you can:

Note: If you're a writer with a publication, publishing a post on the app is not possible at this time.

Home

On the Home tab, you'll be greeted by a prominent queue of posts from writers you subscribe to and see notes, posts, recommendations, and conversations with writers and readers you follow.

  • Read next: Posts from your subscriptions will always be front and center in the reading queue at the top of the Home tab. The reading queue helps you dive into the best posts from your Inbox. It prioritizes your favorite writers, free and paid subscriptions, saved posts, and newer posts. 

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Tip: To remove a post from the reading queue, tap the three dots on a post and select "Archive".

  • Notes: See notes, comments, and likes from people you follow on Substack. For writers, the home feed prioritizes showing your notes, likes, and comments to your paid and free subscribers. Your notes may also be recommended to others, such as readers who subscribe to writers who recommend you, in their Home feed. 

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  • Recommended posts: Discover new posts that are popular among readers like you.
  • Leaderboards: The daily leaderboard on the app showcases the posts that drive the most subscriptions and engagement within a given publication category that day.

Interested in learning more about notes? Check out a dedicated section here.

Things to note about Substack notes:

  • If you'd prefer to hide your post likes, edit your Substack profile and toggle off next to "Your likes".
  • You can “mute” or “block” users to stop seeing their notes and activity. Mute prevents you from seeing them on your Home feed and block also prevents them from seeing/interacting with you.
  • If you mute or block an author, we won’t recommend their notes or posts to you.

Inbox

The Inbox tab brings together all of your subscriptions in one place which can be sorted by audio, saved, and paid posts.

New posts are shown in chronological order and you can swipe right to save, or left to archive.

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To see posts that you've saved from your Home feed or Inbox, select the "Saved" tab. To listen to podcast episodes, select the "Audio" tab.

Saved is designed to send posts to your Inbox that you might discover in the Home feed through a note or recommendations or to help prioritize the unread posts already in your Inbox. When you save a post from the feed, it goes to your Inbox and bumps it to the top of the reading queue. When you archive a post, it removes it from both places.

Tip: Head to your app Settings to choose between the classic inbox design or a more compact dense version.

Chat

Chats is a space for writers to host conversations with their subscribers and cultivate a community around their publications. These are private messages viewable only by subscribers, which are meant to encourage discussion or conversation.

We hope it’ll allow you to share quick updates, photos, and discussion prompts on the go; and make reader engagement more vibrant through features like image replies and emoji reactions.

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Check out frequently asked questions about Substack chat here

Your Substack profile

At the top of the Substack app, you'll find your notifications and your profile picture.

If you have notifications toggled on for things such as likes, replies, mentions, restacks, and new notes, you'll receive push notifications on your device. If you have these toggled off, you can still see this activity by tapping on the Bell icon.

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Tapping on your profile picture will open a menu of your subscription library, archive, and app settings. 

In your Settings, you can change things on the app such as:

  • Notifications: Adjust your push notifications and how you receive new posts.
  • Edit Profile: Change your name, bio, and select whether to display what publications you read on your profile.
  • Inbox appearance: Choose between a classic (social preview images will appear) or a dense view (title and subtitle will be smaller and social preview images will be hidden).

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What appears on my Substack profile?

Your profile will display:

  • Your photo and bio
  • Any social links you've connected
  • What publications you write for
  • What publications you read (this can be hidden)
  • Any Substack posts you've published or notes you've posted
  • Your subscribers (if you have a publication), followers, and who you're following on Substack
  • Your likes

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Following helps writers grow their audience via the Substack network and offers a lightweight way to start a relationship with a writer or reader, with the option to convert it into a subscription at any time. By following a writer, you can stay up to date with what they’re reading, liking, publishing, and subscribing to—through the Home feed and on their profiles.

Find more tips and guidance about following on Substack here.

Note: For writers, the subscriber list only includes a small subset of your subscribers who have Substack profiles and have their subscription visibility set to public. This is a reader-side setting they adjust and control.

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