Stacker News FAQ
To quickly browse through this FAQ page, click the chapters icon in the top-right corner. This will let you scroll through all FAQ chapter titles or search for a particular topic within this page.
New Stackers Start Here
What is Stacker News?
Stacker News is a forum (like Reddit or Hacker News) where you can earn real money for creating or curating content. Rather than collecting “upvotes” that are not redeemable or transferable on Reddit or Hacker News, on Stacker News you can earn Bitcoin that can immediately be spent anywhere.
What Are Sats?
Sats are the smallest denomination of Bitcoin. Just like there are 100 pennies in 1 dollar, there are 100,000,000 sats in 1 Bitcoin. On Stacker News, all Bitcoin payments and balances are denominated in sats.
Do I Need Bitcoin to Use Stacker News?
No. Every new stacker is able to post and comment for free (with limited visibility) while they stack their first few sats. After a stacker has started receiving zaps for their content, each post and comment requires a small fee to prevent spam and to encourage quality contributions. Many stackers have earned enough sats from their first few posts and comments to continue posting on the site indefinitely without ever depositing their own funds.
Post and comment fees start at 1 sat.
Why Is My Wallet Balance Going Up?
When other stackers zap your posts and comments, those sats go to you. Stackers who have created valuable content are also given extra sats daily as a reward. These sats come from the revenue we generate from ~jobs, posting/commenting fees, and boost fees.
Creating an Account
How Do I Create a Stacker News Account?
The fastest and most private way to create a Stacker News account is by logging in with one of the Lightning wallets listed below.
Lightning wallets for logging in to Stacker News:
- Balance of Satoshis
- Zap Desktop
Alternatively, new stackers can set up an account by linking their email, Twitter, or GIthub accounts.
How Do I Login With Lightning?
To login with Lightning:
- Click Login
- Select Login with Lightning
- Open one of the Lightning wallets listed above
- Scan the QR code that appears on Stacker News
- Confirm your log in attempt on your Lightning wallet
Can I Use Multiple Login Methods?
Once you’re logged in, follow these steps to link other authentication methods:
- Click your username
- Click settings
- Scroll down to link other authentication methods
Once you’ve linked another authentication method to your account, you’ll be able to access your account on any device using any one of your linked authentication methods.
Why Should I Log In With Lightning?
Logging in with Lightning is the fastest and most private method of logging in to Stacker News.
Rather than entering an email address, or linking your Twitter or Github accounts, you can simply scan a QR code with your Lightning wallet or use a Lightning web wallet like Alby which enables desktop stackers to log in with a single click.
How Do I Set a Stacker News Username?
When setting up an account, Stacker News will automatically create a username for you.
To change your username:
- Click your username (it's in the top-right corner of your screen)
- Select profile
- Click ‘edit nym’
Funding Your Account
How Do I Fund My Stacker News Wallet?
There are three ways to fund your Stacker News account:
- By QR code
- By Lightning Address
- By sharing great content
- Click your username
- Click wallet
- Click fund
- Enter a payment amount
- Generate an invoice on Stacker News
- Pay the invoice on your Lightning wallet
- Click your username
- Open a wallet that offers Lightning Address support
- Enter your Stacker News Lightning Address on your wallet
- Pay any amount to fund your Stacker News account
Sharing great content
Every new stacker gets free posts and free comments (with limited visibility) to get started on Stacker News. Many stackers have earned enough sats from their first few posts and comments to continue posting on the site indefinitely without ever depositing their own funds.
Stackers who continually post great content will typically see their earnings outpace their posting fees by a significant margin.
What Is a Lightning Address?
A Lightning Address is just like an email address, but for your Bitcoin.
It is a simple tool that anyone can use to send Bitcoin without scanning QR codes or copying and pasting invoices between wallets.
For more on how Lightning Addresses work, click here.
Where Is My Stacker News Lightning Address?
All stackers get Lightning addresses, which follow the format of firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your Lightning address can also be found on your profile page, highlighted with a yellow button and a Lightning bolt icon.
How Do I See My Account Balance?
When logged in, your wallet balance is the number shown in the top-right corner of your screen.
Clicking your wallet balance allows you to fund, withdraw, or view your past transactions.
How Do I See My Transaction History?
To see your full history of Stacker News transactions:
- Click your wallet balance in the top-right corner of your screen
- Click Wallet History
- Select which data you would like to see from the top menu
The buttons on your wallet history page allow you to view and filter your past funding invoices, withdrawals, as well as the transactions where you stacked sats or spent sats on Stacker News.
Posting on Stacker News
How Do I Post?
To submit a post, click the Post button in the nav bar.
Each post has a small fixed fee as a measure to limit spam, and to encourage stackers to post quality content.
There are two different types of posts stackers can make on Stacker News, links and discussions.
Link posts require a title and a URL, while discussion posts require a title and a discussion prompt. The discussion prompt can also include links and other forms of media within it.
How Do I Comment?
To comment on a post:
- Click the title of the post you want to comment on
- Submit your comment in the text box below the post
To reply to a comment:
- Click reply beneath the comment you want to reply to
- Submit your comment in the text box below the comment
How Do Posting Fees Work?
Post and comment fees start at 1 sat each.
Fees increase by 10x for repetitive posts and self-reply comments to prevent spam.
As an example, it costs 1 sat for a stacker to make a post. If the stacker posts another time within 10 minutes, it will cost 10 sats. If they post a third time within 10 minutes of their first one, it will cost 100 sats.
This 10x fee escalation continues until 10 minutes have elapsed, and will reset to a fee of 1 sat when the stacker goes 10 minutes or more without posting or replying to themselves in a comment thread.
This 10 minute fee escalation rule does not apply to stackers who are replying to other stackers, only those who repetitively post or reply to themselves within a single thread.
To zap a post or comment, you can set a custom default zap amount (the minimum is 1 sat), but the current default is 10 sats per bolt click.
What Is a Boost?
Boosts allow stackers to increase the ranking of their post upon creation to give their content more visibility.
How Do I Earn Sats on Stacker News?
Stackers reward each other for their contributions by zapping them with sats.
To start earning sats, you can share interesting links, discussion prompts, or comments with the community.
Beyond the direct payments from other stackers, Stacker News also uses the revenue it generates from its job board, boost fees, post fees, and stacker donations to reward stackers that contributed quality content with even more sats.
Every day, the stackers who created the top 21% of posts and comments from the previous day will receive extra sats as a reward. The extra rewards depend on how popular the content you created was as determined by other stackers.
Finally, Stacker News also rewards stackers with sats for referring new stackers to the platform. To read more about the Stacker News referral program, click here.
How Do I Format Posts on Stacker News?
Stacker News uses github flavored markdown for styling all posts and comments.
You can use any of the following elements in your content:
- Unordered Lists
- Ordered Lists
- Inline code with syntax highlighting
- Text Links
- Line Breaks
In addition, stackers can tag other stackers with the @ symbol like this: @sn. Stackers can also refer to different subs with the ~ symbol like this: ~jobs.
How Do I Post Images on Stacker News?
To post an image, simply copy and paste your image URL into any textbox.
Once your image link is pasted into the textbox of a link post or any comment, it will automatically be rendered as an image when you click post.
To expand an image on Stacker News, click the image. Clicking it again will shrink it back to its original size.
If you are trying to post images from Twitter on Stacker News, make sure you have selected the tweet's image URL, and not the tweet URL itself.
To find the image URL of a twitter photo, right-click the image on Twitter, select "Open In New Tab", and copy that URL.
Stacker News Shortcuts
Stacker News supports a handful of useful keyboard shortcuts for saving time when creating content:
ctrl+enter: submit any post/comment/form
ctrl+k: link in markdown fields
ctrl+i: italics in markdown fields
ctrl+b: bold in markdown fields
ctrl+alt+tab: real tab in markdown fields
Discovering Content on Stacker News
How Do I Search on Stacker News?
To search for content on Stacker News, click the magnifying glass located in the navbar. This is a powerful feature that allows stackers to search for posts, comments, and other stackers across the site.
Search results can be filtered by the following metrics:
- best match
- most recent
- most comments
- most sats
- most votes
In addition, search results can be segmented over time, showing the relevant results from the past day, week, month, year, or forever.
Finally, there are some hidden search commands that can further assist you with identifying specific types of content on Stacker News:
~subnameallows you to search within a specific sub
nym:ausersnymallows you to search for items from a certain user by replacing
ausernymwith the nym you want to find
url:aurlallows you to search for certain domain names by replacing
aurlwith a domain name you want to find
How Do I Find New Subs on Stacker News?
Stacker News offers a number of subs, or topic-based collections of content. These subs include topics like ~bitcoin, ~nostr, ~tech, and ~jobs with plans to add many more over time.
To explore a particular sub on Stacker News, click the dropdown menu next to the Stacker News logo in the navbar and select the topic you'd like to see content on.
If you want to post content to a particular sub, the sub you're currently browsing will automatically be selected as the sub for your post. If you wish to post your content in a different sub, simply select a new sub from the dropdown on the post page and fill out your post details there.
Zapping on Stacker News
How Do I Zap on Stacker News?
To send a zap, click the Lightning bolt next to a post or comment. Each click will automatically send your default zap amount to the creator of the post or comment. You can zap a post or comment an unlimited number of times.
You can also zap any specific number of sats by either changing your default zap amount or by setting a custom zap amount on an individual piece of content.
How Do I Change My Default Zap Amount?
You can change your default zap amount in your settings:
- Click your username
- Click settings
- Enter a new default zap amount
How Do I Zap a Custom Amount?
To send a custom zap amount, long-press on the Lightning bolt next to a post or comment until a textbox appears. Then type the number of sats you’d like to zap, and click zap.
Turbo Zaps is an opt-in, experimental feature for improving zapping UX. When enabled in your settings, every Lightning bolt click on a specific post or comment raises your total zap to the next 10x of your default zap amount. If your default zap amount is 1 sat:
- your first click: 1 sat total zapped
- your second click: 10 sats total zapped
- your third click: 100 sats total zapped
- your fourth click: 1000 sats total zapped
- and so on...
Turbo zaps only escalate your zapping amount when you repeatedly click on the Lightning bolt of a specific post or comment. Zapping a new post or comment will once again start at your default zap amount, and escalate by 10x with every additional click.
Turbo zaps is a convenient way to modify your zap amounts on the go, rather than relying on a single default amount on a long-press of the Lightning bolt for all your zapping.
Do Zaps Help Content Rank Higher?
Yes. The ranking of an item is affected by:
- the amount a stacker zaps a post or comment
- the trust of the stacker making the zap
- the time elapsed since the creation of the item
Zapping an item with more sats amplifies your trust, giving you more influence on an item's ranking. However, the relationship between sats contributed and a stacker's influence on item ranking is not linear, it's logarithmic.
The effect a stacker's zap has on an item's ranking is
trust*log10(total zap amount)where 10 sats = 1 vote, 100 sats = 2, 1000 sats = 3, and so on ... all values in between are valid as well.
To make this feature sybil resistant, SN now takes 10% of zaps and re-distributes them to the SN community as part of the daily rewards.
Why Should I Zap Posts on Stacker News?
There are a few reasons to zap posts on Stacker News:
- To influence the ranking of content on the site
Every post and comment is ranked based on the number of people who zapped it and the trust level of each zapping stacker. More zaps from more trusted stackers means more people will see a particular piece of content.
- To acknowledge the value of the content other people create (value for value)
Sending someone a like or an upvote incurs no cost to you, and therefore these metrics can easily be gamed by bots. Sending someone sats incurs a direct cost to you, which gives the recipient a meaningful reward and acts as a clear signal that you found a particular piece of content to be valuable.
- To earn trust for identifying good content
On Stacker News, new stackers start with zero trust and either earn trust by zapping good content or lose trust by zapping bad content.
Can I Donate Sats to Stacker News?
Yes. Every day, Stacker News distributes the revenue it collects from job listings, posting fees, boosts, and donations back to the stackers who made the best contributions on a given day.
To donate sats directly to the Stacker News rewards pool, or to view the rewards that will be distributed to stackers tomorrow, click here.
How Do I Post a Job on Stacker News?
To post a job on Stacker News:
- Click the jobs button in the nav bar
- Click post
Fill out all the details of your job listing, including:
- Job title
- Company name
- Application URL or email
If you wish to promote your job, you can also set a budget for your job listing.
All promoted jobs are paid for on a sats per minute basis, though you can also see an expected monthly USD price when you set your budget.
Your budget determines how highly your job listing will rank against other promoted jobs on the Stacker News job board.
If you want to get more people viewing your job, consider raising your budget above the rate that other employers are paying for their listings.
If you choose not to promote your job, your listing will be shown in reverse-chronological order, and will be pushed down the job board as new listings appear on Stacker News.
How Are Job Listings Ranked on Stacker News?
Each job is listed in reverse-chronological order on Stacker News, with an option for employers to pay a promotion fee to maintain the ranking of their job listing over time.
For employers who choose to promote their jobs, the fee amount determines the ranking of a job. The more an employer is willing to pay to advertise their job, the higher their listing will rank.
If two jobs have identical fees, the first job that was posted will rank higher than the more recent one.
Where Do Job Posting Fees Go?
Stacker News earns revenue from job posting fees, as well as boosts, post and comment fees, and a fee on all zaps on the platform. All of that revenue is then paid back to stackers as daily rewards.
The sats from the daily rewards go to the stackers who contribute posts and comments each day.
Ranking & Influence on Stacker News
What Does The Lightning Bolt Button Do?
The lightning bolt button next to each post and comment is a tool for stackers to signal that they like what they see.
The big difference between the Stacker News lightning bolt and the "like" or "upvote" buttons you might find on other sites is that when you press the lightning bolt you're not only raising the ranking of that content, you're also zapping the stacker who created the content with your sats.
- A grey lightning bolt icon means you haven't zapped the post or comment yet
- A colored lightning bolt icon means you have zapped the post or comment (the color changes depending on how much you zap, and you can zap as many times as you like)
- If there is no lightning bolt next to a post or comment it means you created the content, and therefore can't zap it
How Does Stacker News Rank Content?
Stacker News uses sats alongside a Web of Trust to rank content and deter Sybil attacks.
As explained here, stackers can send zaps to each other by clicking the lightning bolt next to a post or comment. The zap amounts are one factor that helps determine which content ranks highest on the site, and are weighted by how much the stacker sending the zap is trusted.
The Stacker News ranking algorithm works as follows:
- The number of stackers who have zapped an item
- Multiplied by the product of the trust score of each stacker and the log value of sats zapped
- Divided by a power of the time since a story was submitted
- Plus the boost divided by a larger power (relative to un-boosted ranking) of the time since a story was submitted
The comments made within a post are ranked the same way as top-level Stacker News posts.
How Does The Stacker News Web of Trust Work?
Each stacker has a trust score on Stacker News. New accounts start without any trust, and over time stackers can earn trust by zapping good content, and lose trust by zapping bad content.
The only consideration that factors into a stacker’s trust level is whether or not they are zapping good content. The zap amount does not impact a stacker's trust.
In addition, stackers do not lose or gain trust for making posts or comments. Instead, the post and comment fees are the mechanism that incentivizes stackers to only make high quality posts and comments.
A stacker’s trust is an important factor in determining how much influence their zaps have on the ranking of content, and how much they earn from the daily sat reward pool paid to zappers as explained here.
How Do I Flag Content I Don't Like?
If you see content you don't like, you can click the
...next to the post or comment to flag it. This is a form of negative feedback that helps Stacker News decide which content should be visible on the site.
It costs 1 sat to flag content, and doing so doesn't affect your trust or the trust of the stacker who posted the content. Instead, it simply lowers the visibility of the specific item for all stackers on Tenderfoot mode.
If an item gets flagged by stackers with enough combined trust, it is outlawed and hidden from view for stackers on Tenderfoot mode. If you wish to see this flagged content without any modifications, you can enable Wild West mode in your settings.
What Is Tenderfoot Mode?
Tenderfoot mode hides or lowers the visibility of flagged content on Stacker News. This is the default setting for all stackers.
What Is Wild West Mode?
Wild West mode allows you to see all content on Stacker News, including content that has been flagged by stackers.
This unfiltered view doesn't modify the visibility of items on Stacker News based on negative feedback from stackers.
You can enable Wild West mode in your settings panel.
What Is Greeter Mode?
Greeter mode allows you to see the free posts and comments made by new stackers which haven't received zaps yet. This mode is off by default, but can be turned on in your settings for Stacker News stackers who want to help onboard newcomers to the platform.
When Greeter mode is toggled off, stackers will only see free posts if other stackers have zapped that content. Each new stacker gets free posts and free comments (with limited visibility) when joining the site.
Where Are My Stacker News Notifications?
To see your notifications, click the bell icon in the top-right corner of the screen. A red dot next to the bell icon indicates a new notification.
To change your notification settings:
- Click your username
- Click settings
- Update your preferences from the ‘Notify me when…’ section
How Do I Create A Bio on Stacker News?
To fill out your bio:
- Click your username
- Click profile
- Click edit bio
How Do I View My Past Stacker News Transactions?
To view your transaction history:
- Click your wallet balance next to your username
- Click wallet history
How Does The Stacker News Referral Program Work?
For every new stacker you refer, you'll receive:
- 2.1% of all the sats they earn for their content
- 21% of all the sats they spend on boosts or job listings
Any Stacker News link can be turned into a referral link by appending /r/<your nym>, e.g.
/r/k00bto the link. This means you can earn sats for sharing Stacker News links on any website, newsletter, video, social media post, or podcast.
Some examples of referral links using @k00b as an example include:
To make referring stackers easy, every post also has a link sharing button in the upper right corner. If you are logged in, copying the link will automatically add your referral code to it.
For logged in stackers, there is a dashboard to track your referrals and how much you're earning from them. It's available in the dropdown in the navbar.
The money paid out to those who refer new stackers comes out of SN's revenue. The referee doesn't pay anything extra, the referrer just gets extra sats as a reward from SN.
Where Should I Submit Feature Requests?
Ideally on the git repo https://github.com/stackernews/stacker.news/issues. The more background you give on your feature request the better. The hardest part of developing a feature is understanding the problem it solves, all the things that can wrong, etc.
Will Stacker News Pay For Contributions?
Yes, we pay sats for PRs. Sats will be proportional to the impact of the PR. If there's something you'd like to work on, suggest how much you'd do it for on the issue. If there's something you'd like to work on that isn't already an issue, whether its a bug fix or a new feature, create one.
Where Should I Submit Bug Reports?
Bug reports can be submitted on our git repo: https://github.com/stackernews/stacker.news/issues.
If you find a vulnerability on Stacker News, we would greatly appreciate it if you contact us via email@example.com or t.me/k00bideh.
Where Can I Ask More Questions?
Reply to this FAQ. It's like any other post on the site.