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Substack’s stupid subscription pop-up

The dumb “Let me read it first” pop-up that I have to click through on every single Substack post is super annoying.

I always want to read it first.

Every time I run into it, I wonder why—if they are going to be this in my face about trying to subscribe to every single newsletter I happen to end up on—they even offer an RSS feed to start with. Then I realize that I am a weirdo and that for this vast majority of folks reading articles on Substack, this behavior is likely not a problem.

While I have no idea what percentage of Substack’s traffic is made up of people getting to their articles via RSS, I’d bet it is vanishingly small. The vast majority of folks likely end up there by clicking through from a link on a social media platform or in some other post/article. Once Substack has a reader there via that route, it makes some degree of sense to show them the subscription pop-up; if they subscribe, they’ll then be getting future articles via email and never see it again.

It’s only me and the other RSS cranks on the internet who repeatedly get this nag. It’s frustrating and I wish it didn’t happen, but it is generally good to be aware that my use-case is non-representative.

Still sucks, though, and I wish they wouldn’t do it.

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