Why ❤️ trumps 👏
Lucas Neumann

Appreciate the article. Gave you some claps.

I think a lot of people are missing an important point here. (I’m sure you get it, but I didn’t find evidence of it in your post). I believe the most important role of the claps I give as a reader is not for the author to feel great and not a measure of user engagement. Neither is it for Medium to reward posts that get many claps or high ‘average claps’ numbers. It is rather to split my contribution as a Medium member across the content that I like — proportional to how much I like it.

I’m sure you all get my point, but just to be absolutely clear about it let’s run through a quick (and over-simplified) example.

With recommends: I pay $3 and I recommend three articles. They each get $1.

With claps: I pay $3 and give three articles ‘claps’. One gets 5, another gets 10 and a third gets 15 claps. The first article then gets 50 cents, the second gets $1 and the third gets $1,50.

I can only assume that this would be closer to how I would have distributed the $3 myself had I had the opportunity to do so after the fact.

I’m of course aware that the actual method is not this simple and I also completely agree with you that ‘clapping’ is a very strange choice regarding written content. I too, never clapped at an article until Medium ‘made me’ do so. And writing about it is terribly awkward.

Without thinking too much about it I think that (if this is how it works) Medium could be even more explicit, at least for paying members, about the fact that this feature (partly) determines where your money goes.