Despite its high profile, Medium still hasn't quite figured out what it is in the five years since it launched as a minimalist blogging platform. In the meantime, Medium has pivoted from tech company to publishing service and various shades in between as it tries to draw an audience, fix "a broken system" and eventually turn a profit. In March, Medium announced an ad-free $5 premium tier with curated content and audio stories, but it seems that experiment has already run its course. After just two months, Medium has made the curated homepage available to everyone.
The "smarter reading experience," as Medium is calling it, is designed to "deliver a satisfying, completable, and controllable experience for every reader." In other words: Medium wants make sure you never run out of things to read, preventing that overwhelming feeling that comes with an endless flood of content. What that means in practice is you'll be able to subscribe to topics of interest like Tech, Politics, Design, Productivity, Culture, etc. and your homepage will populate with a mix of four to six stories from each. The stories in each Topic collection are hand-picked from the platform by Medium editors and there are over 50 to choose from. You can also switch back to the original feed if you prefer to read chronologically.
The feature is currently rolling out to all users on the web and iOS versions, but Android folks will have to wait until the next app update to get it on mobile. As for the $5 Premium membership, Medium is still advertising that tier with access to exclusive content, offline reading and audio versions of top stories.