The Macro Report: October, 2019

Following the feature-packed previous month there was a mix of varied, mostly smaller updates in October, which then ended with a couple of big releases.

Let’s take a look at what’s been happening lately on

In the past month…

Domain Registration

You can now register a custom domain in your account settings. This registration makes it easy for you to get the domain you want and immediately use it with one of your hosted sites; all of the settings are taken care of and the feature includes email forwarding.

To see for yourself: go to the web app -> Account tab -> Paid microblogs section -> Get a Domain Name button. There is also a new document in Help covering the feature.

Check-in Support

It is now possible for third-party developers to provide check-in posting, after the API was updated to support location data. This includes venue name, URL, latitude, and longitude, and is not currently supported in the official apps.

You can present this data on your site via custom theming, using a parameter for each data type with the exception of venue name, which is automatically included. Manton’s post includes an example of the code you would use in the custom theme.

Photoblogging, Disqus Tutorial, and more!

A few improvements and fixes came to Sunlit throughout the month, including a new option for clearing cahed photos and old drafts. Elsewhere for the photoblogging side of things, the Photos index page was updated to only include JPEGs so that screenshots are much less likely to appear in the grid, and a there’s a new Help document about the page and how to customise it.

Further support for hosted blogs was provided in the form of a new tutorial in Help, with which you can see how to add Disqus comments to your site, and it is now possible to control pagination in settings specifically when using the Marfa theme.

Elsewhere, the iOS app was improved with further Dark Mode support and a number of fixes. Finally, Inktober was again featured in Discover and a new special pin was launched for the month-long event.


  • Icro was given a major update, as Martin provided an improvement to layout and keyboard shortcuts on iPad, support for Dark Mode, and updated functionality with posts via long press.
  • Quill had a number of updates to improve stability and performance, including the removal of integration with Facebook, Instagram, and flight tracking; as well as making both Twitter integration and image rotation smarter. Also, the file size limit for uploads was increased.
  • Own Your Gram has a new photo importer for importing one photo at a time, whilst real-time updating is no longer possible due to API changes from the developers of Instagram. Documentation has been updated as a result of these changes.

• • •

After the extraordinary release schedule of September, on the back of a remarkably productive summer no less, this month was inevitably going to have a greater focus on stability and performance maintenance. However, with that in mind there were still significant releases from the team and the groundwork was laid for continued momentum. Also, the previously promised improvements of hosted accounts and the web app have come to pass, whilst there is still seemingly more to come along those lines before the end of the year.

Amongst the aforementioned updates focused on perfomance and stability was the removal of Facebook integration and swift LinkedIn patching. Whilst it would appear to be best for updates to always be additive, the fact remains that works best as a nimble, easily understood option for owning your identity on the web and so there will be occasions when it is necessary for the team to remove or reduce parts of the platform.

Evenso, the end of the year looks promising, what with such an action-packed ten months at our backs and the ever-changing landscape of the social web. I for one will be keeping a close eye on how the team continues to attempt to make the web a better place to be.

Enjoy your weekend!

– Simon