Both Swain and Robertson have said that the quality of discussion is different on Medium than it is on other websites. Comments don't appear at the bottom of the article, but to the article's right. Readers can comment on specific paragraphs, which Robertson leads to more productive conversations. "It's easy to isolate who's talking with whom and to follow the conversation, even over millions of views and hundreds of comments," he said.
In a way, Medium is both modernizing how we read things while simultaneously going back in time, before there were embedded videos or animated GIFs. "We think that words (still) matter, so we built a better system for sharing them," said Williams. "We love tweets as much as the next person (probably more), but sometimes we long for something meatier."
But don't worry about Medium getting too high-brow. A profanity-laden angry letter titled "Dear Guy Who Just Made My Burrito" was the second most shared article of the month.