In an email, ThinkProgress editor-in-chief Judd Legum told CNN Money that the move made sense for a site like his that boasts 6.5 to 9 million unique visitors per month and a staff of 37, but still operates without the product team that larger publications use to build out their own backend systems. "So we had to divert editorial resources to think about the technology and what new tools and features we needed," Legum wrote. "Now we can let Medium develop the technical product and we can focus on writing stories."
When it launched in 2012, Twitter co-founder and Medium CEO Evan Williams explained his new project as a mix of a blogging platform and social network. Facing increasing pressure from Facebook's constantly shifting News Feed algorithm, Legum sees Medium as a way to get in front of more traffic, while preparing the site for future. "Publishers want traffic on their websites and Facebook wants traffic and engagement on Facebook," Legum said. "On Medium, our interests are aligned."
The platform also snatched up Bill Simmons' Grantland replacement The Ringer earlier this year, with Simmons citing similar reasons. While that site is starting fresh in terms of audience numbers, it's still indicative of a larger trend that allows publications to focus their budgets in the newsroom rather than their backend tech.