Medium’s New Pay Algorithm Sucks
Medium recently put a new payment algorithm into place for their Partner Program, and it sucks. Views and “reads” don’t mean money anymore, and we’re back to clapping for cash?
I never made a lot of money on Medium, but I had a couple of great months in the past. Even the months that were bad still gave me a little cash. No longer! My views are about the same as ever — they hid other metrics, presumably to obfuscate what they’re doing… or perhaps they aren’t relevant anymore — but my income has dropped off a cliff. I mean, it’s bad. Same views, no money.
Why would they make this change, since they depend on users to create content for their platform? According to the newsletter they sent out to all the writers about it, they claim the updated methodology is to promote more quality writing. I’m all for that. Long ago, I got sick of reading listicles or the same recycled make-money-online articles we’ve all been reading for nearly two decades now.
But will this change push writers to spend more time creating quality work, or will it push writers away from the platform entirely?
When I first read about this change, I decided to wait and see what would happen. I couldn’t predict how the change would affect my income from the site, at least not based on the limited information provided. When I started seeing my Partner Program earnings fall off a cliff, the first thought I had was that my writing was being throttled. I canceled my paid Medium membership a while ago and did so for two reasons. First, I was just cutting back expenses because life has become so fucking expensive — because of large profiteering corporations, not “inflation” — I had to cut a lot. Second, the quality of what I was reading didn’t really match the cost of membership. It was just too much of the exact same shit articles from a bunch of different people that I couldn’t justify paying for it.
Then I realized my article views were about the same as before I had canceled. If I’m being throttled at all, it’s in the picked for distribution space, but even then, I doubt I’m being purposefully throttled. I just don’t write the same old shit that everyone has already read 427 times, so I don’t…