In a move that signals a significant change for Twitter, owner Elon Musk confirmed on Tuesday that the platform will soon support long form content. This news comes in response to a user tweet hinting at the revival of the project, previously known as Twitter Notes, under the rebranded name “Articles.”
The Birth and Evolution of Twitter Notes
Twitter first introduced Twitter Notes in June 2022 as an experimental feature available to a select group of writers in the United States, Canada, Ghana, and the United Kingdom. This feature allowed writers to publish long form content on the platform, making it accessible through a new “Write” tab.
Equipped with support for rich formatting and uploaded media, Twitter Notes enabled writers to embed photos, videos, GIFs, and even tweets in their content. The feature also let writers share their Notes with followers and other Twitter users, who could retweet, share, bookmark, or like them.
Uncertainty Over Twitter Notes
However, following Elon Musk’s $44 billion acquisition of Twitter, the fate of Twitter Notes was thrown into uncertainty. Reports in November 2022 indicated that the project had been put on an indefinite “pause.”
Furthermore, Musk had terminated other reading-and-writing related Twitter projects, such as ad-free articles for subscribers and the newsletter platform Revue.
The Rebirth of Twitter Notes as ‘Articles’
However, in a recent interaction with Twitter user @FaustoChou, Musk confirmed that Twitter Notes is set for a comeback. The user’s screenshot revealed an interface that closely resembled the old Notes interface, alongside other unannounced features like Twitter Coins.
Responding to this tweet, Musk stated, “This will allow users to post very long, complex articles with mixed media. You could publish a book if you want.” Although the timeline and further details about the public launch of this feature remain unclear, Musk’s confirmation suggests that the development efforts have been renewed.
Twitter’s Strategy to Retain Creators
The return of long form content could be a strategic move by Twitter to retain writers seeking a more extensive distribution platform for their articles, blog posts, or newsletters. The announcement also comes at a time when Twitter is competing with platforms like Instagram Threads and offering creators a share of ad revenue, leading to substantial payouts for some.
Twitter is also trying to counter Substack, a rival platform that has been targeting Twitter with launches of short-form notes and a chat feature. In retaliation, Twitter stopped allowing users to retweet, like, or reply to tweets with Substack links. With the introduction of its own long form content feature, Twitter aims to re-establish itself as the home for in-depth conversations, moving beyond its original 240-character limit.
Elon Musk has already demonstrated his willingness to exceed character constraints, having increased the limit to 4,000 and then 10,000 for Twitter Blue subscribers. With the reintroduction of long form content, it seems Musk is keen to broaden Twitter’s horizons, making it a more inclusive platform for diverse content creators.
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