Because of The New Medium Partner Program, I’m Moving To Substack

And I might not be the only one

Ahmed Besbes
4 min readSep 2


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Some context first

I have been writing on Medium for +3 years and it’s been a blast: I learned a lot, met new people, and generated a complementary revenue stream that was surprisingly motivating. I didn’t believe earning money through technical writing was a thing when I first started.

So it was great.

At least, until things took a hard turn.

In August 2023, Medium announced drastic changes to the Medium Partner Program (or MPP) via which authors get remunerated.

Without going into the details (check this post to learn more), this new program changed the algorithm that computes the earnings:

→ Before August 2023, the algorithm relied on reading time. The more time people spend reading your posts, the more $ you earn.

→ After August 2023, this algorithm put the accent on engagement metrics such as claps, responses, follows, the number of highlights, and a newly introduced indicator, the read ratio.

Looking at my earnings in the first days and weeks, I noticed a huge drop: some popular articles that used to generate 2 to 3$ a day now generate a few cents (0.01 to 0.05$). A lot of other posts are completely dead.

This new program is a slap in the face: it doesn’t encourage quality in-depth writing. It only promotes short and viral posts that generate a lot of engagement.

I replied to Medium’s official post covering these changes and here are my answers and concerns:

“I’m quite disappointed with the new partner program. My earnings took a big hit (right now I’m hoping to make the fourth I made last month)

I understand that engagement metrics reveal high-quality writings but it’s not always the case, as this may depend on the topic and the target audience (some subjects and universes strike passionate



Ahmed Besbes

Medium Top Writer (+2M views) | I write about python and productionizing ML code into scalable apps. Exclusive content here: