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Facebook Revamps Notes, Hopes Sexier Interface Will Attract Bloggers

Is Medium in trouble? Facebook’s latest update makes it easier to create longform posts within the social network.

Facebook Revamps Notes, Hopes Sexier Interface Will Attract Bloggers
[Photo: Flickr user Anonymous Account]

Facebook’s Notes feature is getting a major upgrade.

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As seen in a test post by a Facebook employee, it may soon look like a snazzy blogging platform–much like Medium or LinkedIn’s Pulse–with larger text, space for a broad cover image, and clearer headlines. It appears to be designed to give Facebook users the option of creating longer updates or stories that wouldn’t currently read well as status updates.

“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 told Fast Company via email. The spokesperson also mentioned that the company is currently testing different functionalities in Notes, including the ability to tag people, resize photos, and add links or hashtags. As with other Facebook products, users can share a Note with the audience of their choice–say, a customized group of friends.

Right now, the new Notes format is being tested with a select group of people, but when the product rolls out, it should make it easier for Facebook users to share original content with their online community. Given Facebook’s staggering user base, Notes could compete directly with other blogging services like Medium, WordPress, and Tumblr. It is unclear, at the moment, whether Facebook would prioritize user-generated content on Notes over external content from news sites in its news feed.

This new strategy comes as little surprise. Notes has never been a particularly popular product in the Facebook stable; until now, it hasn’t offered anything too different from a status update, and there were other dedicated blogging platforms that offered users greater flexibility and made it easy to create longer-form content. The new Notes, however, could encourage people to blog from within the Facebook ecosystem, keeping them on the platform for longer–which, let’s face it, is what the social network constantly strives for.

[via The Verge]

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About the author

Elizabeth Segran, Ph.D., is a staff writer at Fast Company. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

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