On April 7, Twitter users on both mobile and web platforms discovered that they were unable to interact with tweets containing links to Substack pages. Many users attempting to like, retweet or reply to posts containing Substack links received an error message indicating that “some actions on this tweet have been disabled by Twitter.” In some cases, users reported that while the interface seemed to register their likes or retweets, these interactions were not being counted or displayed.
At present, it is unclear whether the issue is a bug or an intended feature. However, it is worth noting that on April 6, Twitter appeared to have cut off the ability for Substack users to embed tweets in their posts. According to The Verge, a spokesperson for Substack did not clarify whether they believed the issue involved a change to the Twitter API or a bug. Nonetheless, the inability of Twitter users to interact with tweets containing Substack links seems to have begun around the same time, indicating a likely connection between the two problems.
This development comes in the wake of several recent, mysterious changes to Twitter. For example, the platform recently featured a Doge image in place of Twitter’s bird logo for several days, causing confusion among users. Additionally, the nonprofit media organization National Public Radio (NPR) received a “state media” label, which many people found questionable.
It is also worth noting that Substack announced the launch of “Notes” on April 5, which is a Twitter-like posting application that allows users to share short thoughts and updates. This application can be seen as a potential competitor to Twitter, particularly as Substack is often regarded as a place for expert-level bloggers to share their thoughts with like-minded communities. The crypto community, in particular, has taken advantage of Substack to a relatively large degree.
Given all of these developments, it remains to be seen whether Twitter’s disabling of interactions with Substack links is a temporary bug or a deliberate move to counter competition from Substack. Either way, this issue is likely to be of concern to users who rely on both platforms for networking and community building. As of this writing, there has been no official statement from Twitter or Substack regarding the matter, and it is unclear when a resolution might be forthcoming.