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Facebook is Turning Its Notes Feature into a Blogging Platform

Facebook has taken the next logical step after its move to host long content originally published elsewhere (Instant Articles); now it wants to make it easier to create those longer works on the social network itself.

Developer David Winer has discovered that Facebook Notes, that little used feature that let you write a note to yourself, is being turned into something that looks a lot like Medium:

facebook notes

It looks like with the new Notes, Facebook is building a platform where the experience of reading a long update will be as pleasant as on blogging platforms like Medium.

This is good news for FB users (less so for outsiders or competing blog platforms). It’s a feature that FB has needed for the longest time.

FB users have long been able to post updates which could be any length they like (I’ve read thousand word updates, before – no joke) but those updates usually looked terrible due to poor formatting and the fact that updates really weren’t intended to be used for blog posts. Those updates were readable, but only barely.

But now with the new interface, the long posts will look as nice as they would elsewhere. This is going to tempt a lot of casual bloggers into posting on Facebook, where they have access to a large audience in a walled garden.

There’s no word yet on when the new platform will be deployed, but The Verge did get a statement out of Facebook. "We’re testing an update to Notes to make it easier for people to create and read longer-form stories on Facebook," a Facebook spokesperson said. For now, the test appears to be limited to a small group of beta users.

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Maria (BearMountainBooks) August 17, 2015 um 5:50 pm

It’s only tempting if they show up or "followers" are somehow notified. When I first used FB, they had a place where you could post "blog" type posts. I forget what it was called. The thing is, no one ever WENT to that page. Notes, right now, is a tab on an individual page. It doesn’t show up in feeds, so if I copy my blog post to notes…who would see it? The way it works right now, people would have to visit my page and then click on the notes. And the thing that draws a lot of people to FB is the ability to quickly scan the "headlines" in the feed and pick and choose what to read. That first, visible paragraph had better grab readers to get them to click on "more…"

Nate Hoffelder August 17, 2015 um 5:52 pm

They’re going to need some type of notification, yes. That would fit with it being more of a blog platform.

Maria (BearMountainBooks) August 17, 2015 um 6:27 pm

I’m seeing more and more ads on my feed. Today was especially bad. I don’t know if that is because I stopped by there more often today or of there really were more ads. Two of them were very targeted–book bargain sites and one was a VHS to digital ad. I don’t see HOW FB knows I cleaned out two junk drawers and a cabinet and reached the conclusion that I have VHS tapes that need digitizing…

Jason van Gumster August 18, 2015 um 2:17 pm

Wait… maybe I’m missing something here. Is this the same Notes app that’s been part of Facebook from [nearly] the start? I know a lot of people (myself included) stopped using that ages ago, but even then it could syndicate an RSS feed from your blog right to your wall. IIRC, it fell out of frequent use when Facebook went through its first big interface overhaul (which included the wall).

This sounds a lot like trying to breathe life back into that old app. Then again, I could be missing something.

Nate Hoffelder August 18, 2015 um 2:18 pm

Yes, it is the same app.

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