Substack is adding a long-awaited new feature today: the ability to change the look of newsletters. Writers will now be able to choose their background color and accent color and set different fonts for the title and body of posts. It’s a limited set of customizations, but it should allow Substack newsletters to stand out more from one another — right now, they’re basically the same, save for profile pictures and the color of links.
The feature is being called Themes, and Substack says it plans to continually add more options for writers. It’s supposed to be available starting today.
As fun as themes are, writers may get a lot more use out of two other features that Substack is planning for release sometime “soon.” Writers will be able to create sub-lists of members and only send out certain emails to them (Substack imagines lists of “founding members” or “lapsed readers”). It’s also adding a “multipub” tool that will allow writers to aggregate multiple newsletters and podcasts they manage under a single publication. The Dispatch already has this tool and uses it to bundle a dozen titles, but soon it’ll be available to everyone. Substack expects the new options to launch in February.
The features were announced this morning during Substack On, a one-day virtual conference for Substack writers. Substack was founded in 2017, and over the past year, has become an increasingly popular choice for journalists who want to run subscription publications. It’s managed to attract some high-profile names, including Anne Helen Petersen, Glenn Greenwald, and Matthew Yglesias.