Twitter to expand to longer content with new Twitter Notes feature

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What could be one of the most significant changes to Twitter since doubling the number of characters 140 to 280 characters, the company is gearing up to launch a new feature that will support direct posting of long content on its platform. With Twitter Notes, as the upcoming feature is called, users will be able to create articles using advanced formatting and downloadable media, which can then be posted to Twitter and shared with followers once published.

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We understand that this feature is being tested with select users ahead of an upcoming public launch. (Twitter declined to comment, but said it would share news about the feature “soon.”)

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If widely adopted, Twitter Notes has the potential to change how some people use the social media platform to share their deeper thoughts and ideas.

Today, users typically create numbered threads on Twitter to connect a series of tweets together, as a storytelling tool, or when explaining any topic that goes beyond the number of characters supported by Twitter. As a result of this user activity, Twitter has officially adopted topics back in 2017 with the launch of the new Twitter Composer screen, which made it easier to create and share multi-tweet posts — or, as they are also known, tweet storms. Hundreds of thousands of topics were posted daily at the time, according to the company. This number has likely increased since then.

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But while Twitter streams encourage engagement when users click to expand relevant tweets and replies, they can also be a bit cumbersome to browse – especially for longer content. This led to useful bots, as a topic reader app, which turn these tweet storms into links, where the individual posts of the thread are formatted as an article for readability. These days, you will often see users asking for help from a bot in replies to topics by sending tweets. “@threadreaderapp expand”.

In addition to threading, users also circumvented Twitter’s character limits by writing long-form content in the Notes app on their smartphone and then posting a screenshot of their writing. This works to get the message across to a large audience quickly, but does not benefit Twitter because the text in the screenshot is not searchable and the hashtags are not interactive like text posted natively on the platform.

Twitter Notes has the potential to offer an alternative to both problems by allowing users to write lengthy articles directly on Twitter itself instead. This allows users to continue to share their thoughts, while still being able to exploit the viral spread potential associated with publishing on the platform. Like tweets, notes will have their own link and can be tweeted, retweeted, DMed, liked and bookmarked.

The feature was spotted in testing earlier this year by app researchers including Jane Manchun Wong and others. The researchers found that Notes was originally referred to as “Twitter Article”.

AT images posted by Wong in May, this feature offered formatting tools in a bar at the top of the screen similar to those you’ll find in blogging software, such as options to make text bold, add italics or strikethrough, insert ordered lists, add links, change style, insert multimedia. inline elements, word count tracking, and more. Users could also add 1 GIF, 1 video, or up to 4 photos to their article, and enable embedded tweets either through URLs or through their own bookmarks, as shown in the screenshots.

Wong noted that there is also a “focus mode” that expands an article to full screen and hides Twitter’s sidebars. She said the feature looked pretty polished, which suggests it could be running.

In related series images posted by app researcher Nima Ovji This April, it was shown that this feature supports saving articles as drafts and an interface for accessing both drafts and published content.

When posting notes on Twitter, Ouji found that users can check or uncheck the boxes to automatically tweet an article to their feed, their Twitter circle, or their communities, and copy the article’s URL to post elsewhere—for example, on another web website or e-mail, for example.

In the current version, now called Notes, the feature will be available from user profiles directly to the right of the Tweets & Replies link and before Media, the app’s researchers said.

Mobile product analytics firm In addition, we were able to confirm the development of Twitter Notes, which appeared to be ready to run in the latest version of the Twitter application. The firm also confirmed that the feature is located next to Tweets and Replies, making it prominent on user profiles.

While this link allows users to view the account’s posted notes, those who wish to write new notes can do so via a link added to Twitter’s main navigation. During tests, Ouji discovered that Twitter was experimenting with this app icon, which at some point was renamed “Write” in the left column of the Twitter web app, right below Twitter Blue.

Interestingly, this is a video that the Newsletters ran after Acquisition of Revue Twitter – a choice that may indicate an attempt to merge two of Twitter’s long form writing products, Notes and Newsletters.

The introduction of Twitter Notes could create some competition for long-form blogging platforms like WordPress or Medium, coincidentally the latter. developed by Twitter co-founder Evan Williams. This can be especially useful for those users who don’t post articles often and don’t want to create and maintain their own blog or website. If it is also integrated with newsletters, it could also potentially compete with popular newsletter platforms such as Substack, whose contributors often promote their subscriptions via Twitter.

However, Twitter Notes may experience some issues. As Facebook has previously demonstrated, social media efforts to blog on the platform do not always live up to expectations. Facebook tried to compete in this area when, in 2006, launched a simple blogging feature (also called notes) to offer users the ability to post long text that won’t fit in a Facebook status update. At the time, the feature was part of Facebook’s broader strategy to find original content, but never became a popular posting platform. facebook quietly close Notes in October 2020. Facebook is chasing Substack these days with its Platform Newsletter Bulletin.

But users may be hesitant to post on a social platform where business goals are constantly changing, rather than a site that is more dedicated to posting and distributing detailed content.

Likewise, Twitter needs to be able to convince users that its long form posting tool is what it’s committed to and not one of its many experiments that could be scrapped if it fails to succeed.

On top of that, Twitter’s entire product initiative strategy is in constant flux as the company awaits the completion of its takeover of Elon Musk. Musk said he wants to be involved in the Twitter productand has previously stressed that his priorities are growing Twitter’s revenue and user base while eliminating bots. The Bloomberg report also points out Twitter is cutting resources for several of its long-term projects, such as Spaces, Communities and Newsletters, ahead of Musk’s arrival.

As we understand it, Twitter is expected to launch Twitter Notes in the coming weeks – unless, of course, it is prevented by internal turmoil at Twitter.

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