Twitter working on built-in Notes feature
Twitter is testing a new long-form blogging feature named Twitter Notes, the company confirmed in a tweet. The platform says the feature is currently available to a select group of users in the US, UK, Canada, and Ghana, and that people “in most countries” can read Notes on and off Twitter.
Twitter shared how the feature will work in two separate GIFs. Users can click into the “Write” tab to start writing a Note, and can then embed the Note into their tweet when finished. Several writers have already published Notes on the platform, which appear as long-form posts that can have tweets, videos, and images mixed in.
A small group of writers are helping us test Notes. They can be read on and off Twitter, by people in most countries. pic.twitter.com/IUVVkr2vnl
— Twitter Write (@TwitterWrite) June 22, 2022
Leaks and reports of such a feature have been circulating for months, including Tuesday’s report from TechCrunch that initially suggested (but now confirms) that Twitter is working on the feature. In May, app researcher Jane Manchun Wong shared screenshots of a feature named Twitter Notes in some places and Twitter Articles in others. It let users write formatted blog posts complete with pictures, links, and embedded tweets. More screenshots of the same tool were shared in April by another app researcher, Nima Owji, which showed options for users to share posts with their followers, or create standalone links for posts to share elsewhere on the web.
Adding long-form writing to Twitter could drastically change the character of the platform, which has long been defined by short-form writing (at first, tweets were just 140 characters in length, before doubling to 280 characters in 2017). On the other hand, Twitter is arguably already full of longer written screeds, shared in the form of threads of tweets or tweeted screenshots of others’ articles or users’ own writing (usually captured in the iOS Notes app).
By incorporating long-form writing into its platform, Twitter could potentially capture more of the value of these posts. Publishing articles or notes directly to Twitter would make the text indexable for marketing and search purposes. It could also dovetail with the company’s nascent Newsletters feature. In 2021, Twitter bought newsletter firm Revue to take on rivals like Substack and has since integrated Revue newsletters into users’ Twitter profiles. However, the feature does not yet seem to have achieved wider popularity.