Medium 1.0

A New Storytelling Experience

Ev Williams


Note: This post is out of date. We’ve changed many things about Medium since (progress!). It’s here for historical purposes. Check out the Medium Help Center for current info about how Medium works.

Last year, we set out on a mission to build a new publishing platform from scratch — a place that allowed anyone to easily share stories and ideas that mattered to them and influenced others.

One of our goals was to make it dead simple to write and present a beautiful story without having to be a designer or programmer. We also sought to help great ideas quickly find the right audience — no matter who they came from.

Recently, after months of testing and tweaking, we opened the doors so anyone could publish on Medium.

Today, we’re launching a set of major improvements. We’re calling it “Medium 1.0.”

With 1.0, we’ve redesigned the reading and writing experience to make your stories look better and have more impact. We’ve also changed how collections work to enable curation and improve discoverability.


We’ve made innumerable refinements to the typography, spacing, and responsiveness of the design, so stories look better on all devices. And we’ve made it possible to create stories with much more visual power, utilizing cover images:

You can also include full-bleed images inline — as well as text on top of them — when you’re looking to add emphasis or change the mood.

Check out the Beautiful Stories collection to see examples of what’s now possible.

Keep in mind: All these features are entirely optional. Sometimes pure text with no flourish is the best way to communicate your idea. And we’ve stuck to our philosophy of giving you a streamlined, distraction-free writing experience, so you only see this extra power when you want it.


Collections on Medium have always been powerful but, frankly, a little confusing. A while back, we added the ability to follow collections in order to define your own personalized reading experience. This allowed you to more easily follow your interests.

With Medium 1.0, we’re revamping how collections work. Previously, collections were either “invite-only” (only selected people could publish to them) or “open” (anyone could publish to them). Collection creators had the ability to remove stories that they didn’t feel fit in their collection, but only after they were already added.

Now, all collections are moderated by their creator (whom we call “editors”). For readers, this means when you follow a collection, only stories approved by the editor will be published to the collection. For collection editors, it gives you a chance to build a following by being a great curator or solicitor of content.

For those who want to share their own stories and ideas, there are additional options: You can publish your story without putting it in a collection at all—it will be on your profile, and you can share it on external networks—or you can create your own collection(s) and be your own editor.

But you tap into more of the power and audience of Medium when you’re part of shared collections. To do this, simply submit your story after you’ve published it to one or more collections you think are relevant. (We now have collection search, so you can more easily find them.) You’ll be notified by email if the collection editor makes a decision on your story.

We think these changes will provide a powerful ecosystem that helps all those who want to discover and share stories and ideas.

We’re calling this release Medium 1.0 because we feel it represents a major milestone for the product. It has all the core components to be the simple-but-powerful idea distribution system we set out to build. But, by definition, 1.0 means this is the beginning. We’re just getting started.

Thank you for trying it out. We hope you find Medium both useful and delightful. Tell your story. Be inspired.

As always, please email bug reports and feedback to



Ev Williams

Curious human, chairman @ Medium, partner @ Obvious Ventures