With the amount of content on Medium rapidly growing, the publishing site is adding curated “Collections” to the platform, letting users find posts and writers focusing on a particular topic.
“Discovery is a really big topic, and is something we’re continuously working toward trying to improve,” says Katie Zhu, the product manager for the feature.
Users of Medium’s smartphone apps will now be able to touch tab headers for Collections tied to particular topics–say politics or culture–or events in the news, like the Oscars or Apple’s encryption dispute with the government. That will bring them to a set of posts on the topic and give them the chance to follow Medium writers they might not have previously known.
The Collections can also contain links to outside sources, which is something the company took advantage of in a sample post about Apple’s battle with the FBI, says Zhu.
“Apple had posted a customer letter on their own website which provided a lot of valuable context and understanding for readers of the story, so we linked to that,” she says.
At the beginning, only a small set of Medium “trusted testers” will be able to create new Collections, though the goal is to gradually open up the feature, ultimately potentially allowing all users to create and share their own Collections.
In the meantime, the company will track how the new feature affects the time that users spend reading content on the site–one of the company’s most watched metrics–and how it drives interactions, like users following new writers and recommending posts to friends, Zhu says.
“With Collections, this is really just the beginning of what we want to do,” she says.SM