In what could possibly be one in all Twitter’s extra important adjustments since doubling the character rely from 140 to 280 characters, the corporate is getting ready to launch a brand new characteristic that might help the direct publishing of long-form content material on its platform. With Twitter Notes, because the upcoming characteristic known as, customers will have the ability to create articles utilizing wealthy formatting and uploaded media, which might then be tweeted and shared with followers upon publishing.
The characteristic is being examined with choose customers forward of an upcoming public launch, we perceive. (Twitter declined to remark however mentioned it might share updates in regards to the characteristic “quickly.”)
If broadly adopted, Twitter Notes may doubtlessly change how some folks use the social media platform to share their extra in-depth ideas and concepts.
Right now, it’s frequent for customers to create numbered Twitter threads to attach a collection of tweets collectively as a way of storytelling or when explaining any topic that stretches past Twitter’s supported character rely. Because of this person exercise, Twitter formally embraced threads again in 2017 with the launch of a brand new Twitter composer display screen that made multi-tweet posts — or tweetstorms as they’re additionally recognized — simpler to create and publish. On the time, there have been a whole bunch of hundreds of threads posted day by day, the corporate had mentioned. That quantity has possible since grown.
However whereas Twitter threads encourage engagement as customers click on to develop the associated tweets and replies, they will also be a bit unwieldy to peruse — notably for longer content material. That’s given rise to useful bots, like Thread Reader App, which flip these tweetstorms into hyperlinks the place the thread’s particular person posts are formatted like an article for readability’s sake. As of late, you’ll usually see customers requesting the bot’s assist in threads’ replies by tweeting out “@threadreaderapp unroll.”
Past threads, customers have additionally labored round Twitter’s character rely restrictions by writing long-form content material within the Notes app on their smartphone then posting a screenshot of their missive. This works to shortly get a message out to a big viewers, however doesn’t profit Twitter because the textual content within the screenshot isn’t searchable and hashtags aren’t clickable the best way textual content posted natively to the platform could be.
Twitter Notes may doubtlessly supply an alternative choice to each issues by permitting customers to as an alternative write long-form articles straight on Twitter itself. This lets customers share their ideas, as earlier than, whereas nonetheless with the ability to faucet into the potential for viral distribution that comes with posting to the platform. Like tweets, the Notes would have their very own hyperlink, and could possibly be tweeted, retweeted, despatched in DM’s, favored, and bookmarked.
The characteristic had been noticed in testing earlier this yr by app researchers, together with Jane Manchun Wong and others. Initially, Notes was being known as “Twitter Article,” researchers discovered.
In images Wong posted in May, the characteristic supplied formatting instruments in a bar on the high of the display screen just like these you’d discover in running a blog software program — like choices to daring textual content, add italics or strikethrough, insert ordered lists, add hyperlinks, change the model, insert media and embedded objects, observe phrase rely, and extra. Customers may additionally add both 1 GIF, 1 video, or as much as 4 photographs to their article, in addition to embody embedded tweets both through URLs or their very own bookmarks, the screenshots confirmed.
Wong famous there was additionally a “Focus Mode” that might develop the article to a full-screen view and conceal Twitter’s sidebars. She mentioned the characteristic seemed pretty polished, which steered it could possibly be nearing launch.
In a associated collection images shared by app researcher Nima Owji this April, the characteristic was proven to help saving articles as drafts and an interface for accessing each drafts and printed content material.
When publishing a Twitter Notes, Owji discovered that customers may examine or uncheck containers to routinely tweet the article to their feed, their Twitter Circle, or their Communities, in addition to copy the article URL for sharing elsewhere — like on one other web site or in an e mail, as an illustration.
Within the present model, now known as Notes, the characteristic shall be accessible from customers’ profiles on to the appropriate of the “Tweets & replies” hyperlink and earlier than “Media,” app researchers mentioned.
Cellular product intelligence agency Watchful.ai was moreover in a position to affirm the event of Twitter Notes, which it discovered to be prepared for launch within the newest model of the Twitter app. The agency additionally confirmed the characteristic was situated subsequent to “Tweets & replies,” giving it a distinguished place on customers’ profiles.
Whereas this hyperlink lets customers view an account’s printed Notes, those that wish to write new Notes can accomplish that by way of a hyperlink added to Twitter’s most important navigation. Throughout assessments, Owji found Twitter had been experimenting with this app icon, which was at one level relabeled as “Write” within the left-side column on Twitter’s net app, simply beneath Twitter Blue.
Of curiosity, that is the spot “Newsletters” has held following Twitter’s acquisition of Revue — a selection that might level to an try to merge Twitter’s two long-form writing merchandise, Notes and Newsletters.
The introduction of Twitter Notes might pose some competitors with long-form running a blog platforms, like WordPress or Medium — the latter coincidentally developed by Twitter co-founder Evan Williams. It could possibly be notably helpful for these customers who occasionally publish article-length content material and don’t need the trouble of establishing and sustaining their very own weblog or web site. If built-in with newsletters as effectively, it may additionally doubtlessly compete with the favored e-newsletter platforms like Substack, whose authors usually promote their subscriptions through Twitter.
That mentioned, Twitter Notes may have some challenges forward. As Fb beforehand demonstrated, on-platform running a blog efforts from social media firms don’t at all times pan out as hoped. Fb had tried to compete on this space when, in 2006, it launched a bare-bones running a blog characteristic (additionally known as Notes) to supply customers a technique to publish long-form textual content that wouldn’t slot in a Fb standing replace. The characteristic was then a part of Fb’s bigger technique to chase authentic content material however by no means turned a preferred publishing platform. Fb quietly shut down Notes in October 2020. As of late, Fb is chasing Substack with its e-newsletter platform Bulletin.
However customers could also be hesitant to publish to a social platform the place enterprise aims frequently change, as an alternative of to a web site that’s extra devoted to long-form content material publishing and distribution.
Equally, Twitter will want to have the ability to persuade customers that its long-form publishing instrument is one thing it’s dedicated to versus one in all its quite a few experiments which may wound down if it fails to attain traction.
On high of that, Twitter’s total product initiative technique is in flux as the corporate awaits the Elon Musk takeover to finish. Musk has mentioned he needs to be concerned in Twitter’s product, and has beforehand careworn his priorities had been rising Twitter’s income and person base, whereas eliminating bots. A Bloomberg report additionally indicated Twitter has been pulling again sources throughout a number of of its long-term tasks, like Areas, Communities, and Newsletters upfront of Musk’s arrival.
Twitter is predicted to launch Twitter Notes within the coming weeks, we perceive — except, after all, Twitter’s inner upheavals forestall this.