About Friend Links shared by Authors and Pub Editors
Friend Links are a tool for writers to guarantee that friends, family, and fans have free access to their paywalled stories.
When your story is behind the paywall, only Medium members can read it in its entirety (non-members will be able to read the opening section of your story). People without Medium accounts who land on your story will be prompted to create a free Medium account and will be able to read the story they were on when they created their free account. After that, they will need to become a Medium member to read additional paywalled stories.
If your story is not behind our paywall, it's already free for all to read, and you can share it using your story URL.
We understand there are moments where you want to make sure friends, family, and fans can read your work no matter what, so we created a handy Friend Link that gives anyone free access to your story — even if they’re not a subscribing Medium member.
Authors receive Friend Links for every story that’s behind our paywall. You can share a Friend Link directly to, well, friends or through any social media platform.
Sharing a Friend Link
- Open the story for which you want to grab the Friend Link.
- Click on the share icon in the story menu.
- Choose Copy Friend Link from the menu.
- Copy your custom Friend Link and share away! Anyone who uses this link will have free access.
- In the app, tap on the share icon at the top right.
- Tap Friend Link on the bottom menu.
- Select sharing method.
Common questions about Friend Links
You can share a Friend Link with anyone. As long as they have that link, they’ll have free access. And people can share it with other people too — it doesn’t just have to come from you. You will need to share the original Friend Link with others first in order for people to be able to access and share that link with others, however — only the author can see the Friend Link when viewing their stories.
Yes, the author of the story and a publication editor can generate a Friend Link for stories in publications. The link is in the top right corner for posts in publications.
About Friend Links shared by a Friend of Medium
Friends of Medium are members who pay more money for their membership in order to give more support to Medium and the writers they love and read. Learn more about becoming a Friend of Medium and upgrade your account here. Reads generated by Friends generate 4x more earnings for writers. Being a Friend of Medium also allows them to share Friend Links with their network and support writers even further.
Friend Links shared by Friends of Medium bypass the paywall and pay writers for reading engagement, even if those readers are not Medium members.
I’m a Friend of Medium, what does this mean for me?
First of all, thank you for being a Friend of Medium! We know that supporting writers is important to you and we’re excited that you’re interested in sharing their stories with your world. You can find your Friend Link on an article by going to the Share button and selecting Copy Friend Link. From there, you can share away!
What if I was a Friend of Medium, but I no longer am?
If you are no longer a Friend of Medium, any Friend Links you have shared in the past will show a paywall to ensure that writers are still paid for reading engagement on their story. You will be unable to share new Friend Links until you upgrade your account to become a Friend of Medium once again. This also applies to Friends of Medium who delete their account or are suspended.
I’m a Partner Program writer, what does this mean for me?
You may (or may not!) know that writers have had Friend Links for quite some time in order to share your paywalled stories with your friends, families, and fans. Friend Links shared by authors or publication editors will work the exact same way, meaning that reads to these links will not generate revenue.
Please note this is true even if you upgrade to become a Friend of Medium. This is similar to how things work now, you cannot generate revenue for yourself by reading your own story (or sharing your own Friend Link).
Reads from Friend Links will show up on the Post Stats Page. They will be separated by Friend Links shared by you and Friend Links shared by a member with a Friend membership. You are paid for the reads from Friend Links shared by Friends of Medium.
Common questions about Friend Links shared by a Friend of Medium
Friends of Medium can share a Friend Link with anyone. As long as they have that link, and you remain a Friend of Medium, they’ll have access without a paywall. And people can share it with other people too — it doesn’t just have to come from you. You will need to hare the original Friend Link with others first in order for people to be able to access and share that link with others. However, only Friends of Medium and authors can see the Friend Lin when viewing stories.
Yes! As a Friend of Medium, if you share a story via a Friend Link, the writer will earn for engagement from non-members who access your Friend Link. The writer will also continue to earn for engagement from paying members and Friends who access the story via your Friend Link.
Yes, Friend of Medium Friend Links are unique to each Friend of Medium. Author and publication editor friend links are also unique. Only Friend of Medium Friend Links earn money for writers for non-reading engagement.
We regularly monitor traffic to Friend Links to ensure that no one is taking advantage of our system. If you suspect a Friend of Medium is abusing Friend Links, please reach out to our Trust and Safety team here. Friend Links are a privilege, not a right. 🙏