Twitter announced today that it has begun testing “Notes,” a way to write and publish long-form content on the social media platform. The official announcement comes a day after TechCrunch reported that the feature would be launching soon.
A small group of writers in the United States, Canada, Ghana and the United Kingdom now have access to Notes as part of the initial testing phase. Twitter says Notes can be read on and off Twitter by people in most countries. Users who are part of the testing phase will get access to a new “Write” tab, which is where they can write and access all of their Notes. These users will also have a new “Notes” tab in their profile that holds their published work to make it easy for their followers to find their long-form content.
With the new feature, users will be able to create articles using rich formatting and uploaded media, which can then be tweeted and shared with followers upon publishing. Users will have the option to embed photos, videos, GIFs and tweets into their Notes. Like tweets, Notes will have their own link and can be tweeted, retweeted, sent in DM’s, liked and bookmarked.
Twitter Notes has the potential to change how some people use Twitter to share their more in-depth thoughts and ideas. The new feature could be particularly useful for those users who infrequently publish article-length content and don’t want the hassle of setting up and maintaining their own blog or website. It’s also worth noting that the feature marks one of Twitter’s more significant changes since doubling the character count from 140 to 280 characters.
The new feature will address situations where it can be difficult to follow threads by allowing users to put all of the text into a Note. Notes will also address situation where users had to post screenshots of their Notes app in order to tweet a large portion of text.
The introduction of Twitter Notes may pose some competition with long-form blogging platforms, like WordPress or Medium, the latter coincidentally developed by Twitter co-founder Evan Williams. If Twitter decides to integrate newsletters into Notes, the feature could potentially compete with popular platforms like Substack.
Twitter also announced today that it’s launching a new Twitter Write team that is focused on building tools for readers. The company is merging its newsletter subscriptions into Twitter Write, which is now the brand that it’s using to encompass its long-form writing efforts, including Notes and newsletters. The Write team will be focused on improving the Twitter experience for writers. The social media giant notes that its definition of writers includes journalists, bloggers, newsletter publishers, comedians, content creators, social media community managers, poets, screenwriters and more.