Patreon overhauls its platform with free content and more creator control

The company also launched a redesigned app and chat rooms for communities.


Patreon announced a rebranding of its platform through a series of updates on Wednesday. New features give creators more personalization and control while offering supporters more ways to follow their favorites. In addition, the platform is integrating more free content, allowing every creator to host communities non-paying members can access. Patreon also tweaked its branding with a new logo, color themes, photography and fonts.

Perhaps the most notable update for creators is the ability to bolster their communities for free members. Creators can now let people join for free, offering content and updates for non-paying members while (optionally) hiding things like early access to podcasts or videos behind a paywall. They can also use a new commerce tool to sell individual pieces of content like recordings, videos and downloadable files. It makes the platform more of an all-in-one social hub for fans who aren’t ready to pay but may decide to later.

Patreon frames its changes as moving creators away from being prisoners to algorithms and back to connecting directly with their most eager and loyal fans. The company says those with early access to the program attracted over 160,000 new fans to their communities.

Patreon marketing image showing her documentary page. A phone shows the creator’s homepage, while floating snippets display various aspects, including messaging and a behind-the-scenes video.

Creators now have greater customization over their pages, including their layout, colors and how posts display. “Whether you’re highlighting your most popular posts, organizing your podcast episodes into seasons, or putting together a video series, you have the creative freedom to arrange and present your work in a way that helps your members dive into exactly what they’re looking for and discover new posts to love,” the company wrote in a blog post. Patreon says early testing shows increased discovery and engagement (especially on older posts) when featured in one of the new collections.

Patreon is also adding chats and member profiles. “Chats are led and managed by creators, which means they can shape the culture and set the right tone for their communities,” the company wrote in a post announcing the features. Members can report problematic messages, and creators will have a hub to review them.

Finally, the Patreon app is getting a redesign. The company says the updated app is crafted for the most hardcore fans, prioritizing their experience. Fans’ homepages will now display content as creators arranged it instead of chronologically. “Instead of dropping into a content overload, members log in and instantly see everything they want at a glance,” the company wrote about the new app. “Their homepage is organized by creator, not by post, which means fans can see a creator’s latest work next to their community conversations and anything else going on in their world. It’s creativity in context, the way creators intended.”