Twitter is testing a new feature called ‘Notes’, which lets users post blogs of up to 2,500 words – and even edit them if they want to.
Notes, which is being trialled with a small group of writers from the UK, the US, Canada and Ghana, lets people post text, photos, videos, GIFs and embedded tweets in a single piece of content.
Twitter has a 280-character limit on a single tweet, so the only way Twitter users have been able to make lengthy posts previously is through a ‘thread’ – a series of connected tweets – or by posting a photo of a passage of text.
With Notes, users can go way past this limit and even edit what they’ve written after the piece has been published.
Notes lets users post blogs of up to 2,500 words – and even edit them after they’ve been published. Pictured is Notes as seen on the Twitter mobile app
Twitter is testing Notes with a small group of writers from the UK, the US, Canada and Ghana.
The new feature lets users post lengthy, blog-style posts on the social media platform.
These posts can go beyond 280 characters (the current limit for a single tweet); include embedded photos, videos, GIFs and tweets; and be edited pre and post-publish.
A new Notes tab on a user’s profile holds a user’s published work.
Rembert Browne, editorial director at Twitter, explained the new feature in a Note of his own.
‘Today, we’re testing a new feature called Notes,’ he said. ‘Notes will give people the ability to go over 280 characters on Twitter in a single piece of content, with the inclusion of photos, videos, GIFs, and Tweets.
‘Notes can be written, published, and shared on Twitter, and read all across the internet.’
The new feature is aimed at people who would usually use Twitter to post a link to a blog on another website, such as LinkedIn or Tumblr.
Allowing Twitter users to write a blog on Twitter will prevent followers from clicking away from the website to these other sites.
Once a ‘Note’ is written, users can tweet it or generate a link to post it elsewhere on the internet as well – redirecting readers to the Twitter site.
Although Notes will be available for everyone if and when it’s rolled out, it’s been created specifically with writers in mind.
‘Twitter is where writers live,’ Browne said. ‘And as the platform for writers, it’s clear that Twitter is essential.’
Users participating in the trial are able to access their Notes thanks to a new tab, situated between ‘Bookmarks’ and ‘Messages’.
With Notes, users can go way past the 280 character limit and even edit what they’ve written even after a piece has been published
Once a ‘Note’ is ready, users can tweet it or generate a link to post it elsewhere on the internet as well – redirecting people to the Twitter site
Notes is the closest thing Twitter has come yet to an edit button – the platform’s most-requested feature, which it’s finally planning to introduce.
In a tweet on April 1, the Twitter communications department wrote, ‘we are working on an edit button’, which many assumed was an April Fools joke.
A few days later, Twitter confirmed it had been working on an edit feature since last year, and that it’s currently being tested.
The edit button will be initially rolled out in Twitter Blue, Twitter’s $2.99-per-month subscription service that gives access to exclusive features.
It was thought Twitter was influenced by Elon Musk, who is seeking to buy Twitter for $44 billion and is already the largest single shareholder in the social network.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted out a poll in April asking his followers whether they would like Twitter to have an edit button
The billionaire polled his Twitter followers about the creation of an edit button in April, just hours after he filed an SEC disclosure declaring his 9.2 per cent stake.
One of the potential problems with letting users edit their tweets is the possibility that they could completely change the content of their post once it has been heavily endorsed by millions of likes and retweets.
This could lead to unimaginable confusion and misinformation, which is something social media platforms strive to avoid in the era of fake news.
However, Twitter does seem to have changed its tune regarding an edit button since the company’s founder and former CEO Jack Dorsey was asked in January 2020 if it would be introduced.
Dorsey simply replied: ‘The answer is no’.
For years, Twitter founder Jack Dorsey (pictured) wouldn’t yield to user demands to introduce an edit button for tweets
In an interview with WiredDorsey said at the time: The reason there’s no edit button [and] there hasn’t been an edit button traditionally is we started as an SMS text messaging service.
‘So as you all know, when you send a text, you can’t really take it back. We wanted to preserve that vibe and that feeling in the early days.’
Dorsey quit as Twitter CEO last November and was replaced by Parag Agrawal. Last month, Dorsey tweeted: ‘I’ll never be CEO again.’
TWITTER LAUNCHES ‘TWITTER BLUE’ IN FOUR COUNTRIES – BUT UK USERS ARE MADE TO WAIT
In 2021, Twitter officially rolled out its subscription service called Twitter Blue in four countries – the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
Twitter Blue charges users $2.99 monthly fee to access exclusive features – but many users do not seem wiling to pay extra for the social media platform.
The most exciting feature seems to be the Undo Tweet that lets users edit a tweet before it goes live.
It also features Bookmarks, which allows users to save individual tweets into folders, and Reader mode, which converts threads of tweets into an article-like view.
But UK users are still waiting to test out Twitter Blue. Once it’s rolled out in the UK, it will cost users £2.49 a month.
Twitter, however, emphasizes that this does not mean it is trying to phase out the free version of the platform.
Former CEO Jack Dorsey has focused on tweaking Twitter in the past to try to attract more people and increase revenue.