Hey, Medium, we speak Spanish too

Ignacio Zambello
Aug 14 · 5 min read

Why This Platform Should Expand Its Boundaries

Image by @vanveenjf, Unsplash.

More people are born speaking Spanish than English.

It is true, though, that more people speak English.

But let’s go through same stats together…

  • English has 370 million native speakers. Spanish has 440 million.
  • English is the official language in 4 countries. Spanish? 21.*
  • 900 million people speak English. 530 million speak Spanish.
  • 30% of the Internet content is in English. 10% is in Spanish.
  • 10% of the population in the USA and the UK speak Spanish.
  • The tag “Spanish” has 43K followers. “Español” has 28K.

So, what does all this tell us? Of course, English is the most spoken language in the world. Even though Chinese is really strong, most of them also speak English.

But if we talk only about native speakers, Spanish wins. By far. And also if we count the amount of countries.

So, Medium, let me ask you something: why not?

I know you’ve tried

Before Medium decided to create the paywall system, there was a Spanish community in this platform.

Not only were there readers and writers, there was also a Medium Publication dedicated only to articles in Spanish. Stories got curated and the content used to be published in social media. Wasn’t it great?

Unfortunately, they decided to stop. At the beginning of 2017, they gave the community the sad news that the Medium staff was going to work only on the content in English. Here’s what they’ve written:

2016 was a great year for us. The Spanish-speaking community has grown like never before and millions of stories in Spanish are published every month.

As you may have already read, we are doing some changes in order to offer you the best platform possible, and we’ve decided that, for now, we’re going to put all our efforts in our offices in San Francisco. That means that we’re going to stop curating content in Spanish…

A screenshot of that article.

I don’t know what happens inside Medium’s offices, so I can’t tell whether they’ve made the right decision or not.

But I do know two things: first, they’ve done a great job with Medium. People can find amazing content here, can build relationships and can write and earn money in one month. That’s awesome! I love Medium.

Yes, I love Medium, and that’s why I want the best for it. That brings us to the second thing know: it’s about time for Spanish to appear on the platform again.

Why?

The figures at the beginning of the article must be enough, but if you want more…

Medium is American, an English-speaking country. What’s the second most spoken language in the USA? Yes, Spanish, with almost 40 million speakers. That’s more than 10% of the population.

Let’s go to the UK now. There, almost 10% of the population speaks Spanish as well.

“But most of them speak English too”, you might think. You might be right, but let me tell you that the level of English in South and Central America is not that good. Most of them learn English on their own, because of the Internet.

And yes, people can learn English and write in English, but it’s not going to be the same. What if I ask you to write something in a second language? English is not my first language, and you can tell that. You might find this article a little awkward, and I don’t blame you. But let me tell you something: I’m really good when it comes to writing in Spanish.

In addition, Spanish is the 3rd language with more learners in the world. Wouldn’t it be helpful for those people, too?

The Spanish-speaking community gives a strong and powerful meaning to literature and to the words. Beautiful pieces of writing can be created and all the millions of millions of people out there who dream of earning a little bit of money from writing should be given that chance.

Is it that hard?

As I said before, I don’t know what’s going on inside Medium’s offices.

I don’t how how hard it is to do this.

Image by @helloquence, Unsplash

But here’s the truth: there’s already a Spanish-speaking community out there in Medium. They’ve got their own pubs and they create their own content. But guess what? No curation = no readers = no claps = no money.

What I’m trying to say here is that we already have the most important thing: the people. There’s a base, we only have to build on that base.

And millions and millions of new users would be attracted to this platform if Spanish comes to the scene, I can tell you that.

How many people do you need to make this possible? 10? 50? 100? 1000? I don’t know, really, but it’s hard for me to believe this is impossible.

Let’s say 50 million Spanish-speakers users start to use the platform (that’s a pessimistic figure, though). Each of them pay $5 a month. That’s $250,000,000. I think that’s enough, don’t you?

I don’t know exactly how, but it must happen. Me and millions of people out there can create much better content if we were given the chance to write in our native language. That means Medium would be a better place.

Please, Medium, listen to us.


*Countries in which the language is the de facto official language.


I’m an Argentinian content creator living in London. I’ve got a YouTube channel, I do video edition and blogging. You can visit my website here. Thanks for reading!

Ignacio Zambello

Written by

Call me Nacho. Argentinian in London. I love sports, lifestyle, music, writing. I try to mix them all in texts. English and Spanish. Visit me www.izambello.com

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