Medium announced some big upgrades last night. A new logo, a new API (raining on our REST API infrastructure parade), custom domains for everyone, and more.
If I were Automattic, I would be doing some nervous toe-tapping right now. As a writer and blogger, Medium looks more attractive to me than WordPress.com.
Furthermore, with Medium's new API, they've introduced a new WordPress plugin (announcement | Github) that allows for “syndication” or cross-publishing from WordPress to Medium. So I can write on WordPress.org, and syndicate to Medium, and let me content live in both places. That's honestly incredibly tempting, and for a lot of folks, it could make loads of sense.
The plugin is simple and allows to cross-link and license the content.
Sidenote: Hilariously, in their announcement they link to WordPress dot com and not dot org, and lowercase P all over the place. I can't tell if they are just hard trolling or that they just really don't understand WordPress.
One of the things Medium has done with their upgrades is to better frame themselves as a distribution platform at the same time as becoming a more attractive writing platform. Ev Williams and his team are not dumb. They are looking to grow, and this is a two-pronged approach that I'll be watching closely.
Ev's post on the new features has links to other posts that highlights each one. Their logo (the least important change tbh) struck me as a big change at first but I started to like it a lot after about two minutes.