I shook my head at those who said it will lead to longer, padded stories. Who reads long stories?! There are only five people on Medium who will read stories over five minutes long. Your 12 minute story is still not going to get read. Attention spans are only getting shorter.
People will adjust and learn to game this new system also. “I posted 50 haikus today. You just have to open them and it counts as a 30 second read!”