Facebook Notes Gets Custom Styles to Challenge Medium

facebookPerhaps the least-supported feature on Facebook, Notes has graduated from a simple scratchpad to the next best thing of a blog platform.

Facebook announced that Notes has started to grow up and has become about half the blogging tool it should have been all along. The new features which were discovered last month are now available to the public.

Users can now pen a longer and better formatted update, insert images, and format the text with the basics (bold/italics/underline, blockquote, and bullet points).

Notes is still lacking a spellcheck or grammar check feature, but aside from that it's not pretty useful. The interface for drafting a note is clean, and the resulting Note looks nice.

Facebook is still working on integrating the better formatting into your news feed, however.

This is what a note looks like in your timeline. As you can see, the image which I set to the right is now centered over the text. (For that reason it might be better to always insert an image before or after text, and not beside).

facebook note timeline news feedFacebook says that you can also now customize notes with a cover image, but I don't see where that option is hidden.

All in all, it's not bad, but it still needs some work. You cannot, for example, insert a link. Also, the insert image feature needs to be moved above the compose window and refactored so it is easier to understand.

But even with its shortcomings, Notes is the semi-blogging platform I predicted last month. It's the natural extension of FB Instant Articles; not only is FB hosting long-form content published elsewhere, they now want you to create it on the site.

And given Facebook's billion plus users, this new feature is not just a threat to Medium but to all blogging platforms, including both WordPress and Blogger.

If I were inclined to post more updates on Facebook, this is what I would use. It's a lot nicer than what I usually see in terms of text updates (the images help a lot).

But I also like the idea of controlling my platform (and not being subject to FB's sometimes puritanical whim), so I think I'll keep this blog a while longer.

You can find FB Notes at www.facebook.com/notes.

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About Nate Hoffelder (11593 Articles)
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader:"I've been into reading ebooks since forever, but I only got my first ereader in July 2007. Everything quickly spiraled out of control from there. Before I started this blog in January 2010 I covered ebooks, ebook readers, and digital publishing for about 2 years as a part of MobileRead Forums. It's a great community, and being a member is a joy. But I thought I could make something out of how I covered the news for MobileRead, so I started this blog."

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