Not for Everybody

Introducing Crowd Control: Secret and Unlisted Highlights

Andrew Courter
Apr 4, 2017 · 4 min read

Highly is built for sharing stories with friends and bubbling up the best parts as a community. Many folks use Highly to highlight everything they’re reading. Well, almost everything.

We do some of our most important reading about personal and confidential topics.

You’re researching an unannounced project, shopping for gifts, educating yourself about a health issue, or dealing with any number of other private topics. You want to be highlighting, and you need to control who can and can’t see certain highlights. Here you go.

Today we’re introducing Crowd Control, a simple way to make your highlights visible to a chosen few, or just to you.

It’s an in-app subscription — $2 a month. And it’s available right now in all Highly apps: iPhone and iPad, Chrome, Safari and web.

How Crowd Control Works

Unlimited public highlights are free, as always. Crowd Control subscribers can make unlimited Unlisted and Secret highlights, too. So anywhere you can highlight, you have the option to set your highlights on a given story to Public, Unlisted or Secret.

The Crowd Control menu.

And anywhere you see your highlights, you can confirm and control who else can see them.

Visibility information appears with your highlights.

Public highlights are visible to the whole community.

These default highlights are visible on your profile page (, appear in the feeds of people who follow you, and are discoverable by other Highly users when they visit the same story.

Public highlights power the Highlight Layer.

Unlisted highlights are hidden until you share them.

Unlisted highlights don’t appear in social contexts and are only available via a direct link. This way, you can control how narrowly they’re shared (if at all). They’re great for:

  • collaborating with co-workers (share to Slack confidentially),
  • party planning (don’t wreck the surprise), and
  • sick burns (Tweet a highlight without adding it to your profile).

Secret highlights are only visible to the person who made them — you.

You must be authenticated — signed in — to see them. Nobody else can.

Visibility Options

You can highlight everything — really everything — now.

The Situation

There’s no trial period, no sales process. Free, unlimited public highlights are the free trial.

Instead of common freemium approaches like offering paying users additional features (like Evernote) or imposing usage limits (like iCloud), we’ve built Crowd Control for people who want to use Highly in a particular, private situation (like GitHub).

This way, everybody with Highly is using the very best version of the product. We wouldn’t have it any other way and expect that you wouldn’t either.

So come on in! Use every feature; use all the apps; highlight as much as you’d like. And if you find yourself in a private situation, get Crowd Control.

About Highly

Highly is the internet’s highlight layer. Highlight quickly, share them beautifully, and start your day with the most important ideas online.

Get your free highlighter at

Happy Highlighting

Building Highly, the Internet’s Highlight Layer • The…

Thanks to Eric Wuebben

Andrew Courter

Written by

Soccer dad. Pro aesthete. Founder @HighlyTM, the internet’s highlight layer. Draft.

Happy Highlighting

Building Highly, the Internet’s Highlight Layer • The Highly Team Is Now Part of Twitter

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