Has Medium Come Full Circle?

Medium in 2023 is looking a lot like Medium in 2018.

Benya Clark
4 min readJun 5


Photo by Thomas Bormans on Unsplash

I started writing on Medium in 2018. I’ve lost count of how many changes the site has gone through since then. They’ve updated the user interface, changed the distribution model, launched a new version of the app, and more, all while growing the user base at an incredible rate.

This year, however, Medium has moved in a direction I’ve never seen before: Backward. And the truth? I’m excited about it.

Medium in 2023 is looking more and more like it did in 2018, and I believe that most of these reversions are for the better.

Writing on the App

Perhaps the most obvious example of this is Medium’s phone app. When I joined in 2018, the app was a great tool for reading and writing on Medium.

Then, in 2022, Medium made the inexplicable decision to remove the writing function from the app. Users could still read all the stories they wanted, but to write something, they had to log on from a desktop computer. (There was also a clunky workaround of switching the web browser on your phone to desktop mode.)

Writers, including myself, hated this change. We lost an incredibly convenient feature for no apparent reason.

Fortunately, when Medium’s new CEO, Tony Stubblebine, took over, one of the first big changes he made was to restore the writing function on the app. It was a great decision.

Hand-Curated Distribution

Another recent reversion is how Medium handles content distribution. When I joined the site in 2018, Medium staffed a team of “curators” who searched for high-quality articles to receive enhanced distribution across the site.

They supposedly read every article that was submitted (although I’ve always been a little skeptical of that claim — I assume there was some automation involved). When an article caught their eye, they’d add it to relevant “topics,” and the article would then be pushed to readers interested in those topics.

This led to an odd problem in which some stories would be curated and take off like wildfire, while those that were passed over died with just a handful of views…



Benya Clark

I’m a lawyer turned writer from North Carolina. I write about sobriety, mental health, and more. Subscribe to my weekly newsletter at exploringsobriety.com.