The medium is the message, and for Medium, the blogging site run by Twitter co-founder Evan Williams, the message is getting a whole lot simpler to receive due to a limited beta launch of custom domains.
However, only a few publications are able to test Medium’s new custom domains so far. They include New America, Midcentury Modern, Substance and Medium’s own comics site The Nib. Publications interested in signing up for the beta can do so at Medium's website.
"We’re very excited by the potential of custom domains to change how people think of Medium, and we'll be expanding custom domain support to more publications over time as we refine the product," the blog post reads.
An FAQ section at the bottom of the blog post offers a few more details, like how Medium is in the midst of getting "the kinks worked out" before it can roll out custom domains to the public, and how publications that want to help with the beta can sign up for their own domain in a provided Google Doc. It also explains Medium profiles will not be able to support custom domains, and that the domains, just as the text within posts on Medium, are owned by the respective authors.
A move like this is sure to boost Medium in the eyes of writers and publishers who want to build a simple space for themselves on the Web. WordPress and Squarespace offer a similar means to publish content on the Internet along with their own options for custom URLs. Medium places itself as a more compelling competitor to those platforms with this simple but important new feature.
Medium also recently revamped itself with a new, Twitter-like inline editor to encourage shorter, more searchable articles. No title is required for posts, and editing options are limited to a one-click quick publication. This move from long-form to short-form is potentially meant to broaden the appeal of Medium by putting it more within the likes of Tumblr.