Write.as is turning 5 years old! 🎂 To celebrate our 50th anniversary (in internet years), we're launching a new subscription option for everyone — more on that below.
A little history
Write.as first “launched” to the world on February 2, 2015. Our founder, Matt, had been working on the idea for a couple months, designing this new tool that would let anyone write on the internet with their privacy in-tact. When it launched, it was little more than an open source telnet application. The first people to see it were readers on the /r/linux subreddit.
2015 saw the platform expanding quickly, as we released our mobile apps, a command-line client, a browser extension, a Chrome OS app, and lastly a real web application. From the start, it was built around the people using the software — Matt listened to every bit of feedback he could get and built most of it into the apps right away.
Throughout this time, one request in particular kept coming up — people wanted blogs. They enjoyed the writing experience and the privacy, but they really wanted a little more convenience than our “nice-looking pastebin” could give them. So in the middle of 2016 we launched free and paid accounts, where you could finally create a blog (and continue publishing anonymously). With this, Write.as became useful to even more people, and started down the road to a financially sustainable product.
We spent 2017 adjusting to new kinds of users and a new kind of focus — creating a valuable service that people would pay for — and evolving the software around this new use as a distraction-free blogging platform.
By the end of the year, Write.as had organically grown to enough customers to cover its basic costs. Taking this as a promising sign, in early 2018 Matt started working on Write.as full-time again. He spent most of the year looking for bigger problems Write.as could help solve, now that the product was essentially “finished.” Half-way through the year, we decided to add support for the ActivityPub protocol, and three months later, we released the core source code behind Write.as, calling the project WriteFreely.
WriteFreely finally showed us what we'd actually been creating this whole time: a creative tool that had the potential to help bring people together and communicate better.
Ironically, we'd purposely built Write.as / WriteFreely without explicit “social” features (in 2018 we were dubbed “the social media hater's blogging platform”). But in a gentle way, we'd actually created a way to socialize online without even trying. So in 2019 we started exploring this new use for our writing tool.
This led to us first hosting small communities through a new lightweight service, WriteFreely.host. But we soon discovered a really interesting use for WriteFreely: helping organizations communicate better through long-form writing. This turned into Write.as for Teams, which we're now bringing to more companies around the world.
Over the past five years, we've gone from a “blog-less” writing platform to a new kind of communication tool — all while sticking to the same core principles we started with, emphasizing respect for users and sustainability as a company. We couldn't be happier with what we've created in the past five years, and we can't wait to see what the next five hold.
To celebrate this moment in time, we're launching a new way to subscribe to Write.as: our 5-Year Pro Plan. This lets you pay for a Pro subscription only once every five years, at a 50% discount on the normal price. It gives you everything we offer, today and in the future, and 10 total blogs (instead of the normal three) as thanks for subscribing with us for the long-term.
See our 5-Year Pro Plan for information on how to get signed up.
Overall, we hope this will give writers the chance to settle in on Write.as and not worry about a monthly or yearly subscription. Instead, you can trust that your work will always be here, year after year.
Finally, we want to thank everyone who's contributed to Write.as over the years — either through your conversations, feedback, contributions, advice, patience, help in the community, or simply writing here. We wouldn't be here without you, and for that we're truly grateful for everything you've done for us.
Here's to five years so far, and many more to come!
— Matt and the Write.as Team