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Twitter Launches ‘Notes’ Long-Form Blogging Option, Attached to Tweets

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Twitter Launches 'Notes' Long-Form Blogging Option, Attached to Tweets

It’s been in testing for a while, and today, Twitter has finally launched its new ‘Notes’ option on selected user profiles, which provides a simple, integrated way to attach longer text elements to your tweets.

As you can see in this example, the Notes UI is fairly basic, with all the regular elements of a blog post composer, including the capacity to include header images, to insert images and links within the text, and a streamlined option to add in tweets.

Once published, Notes will appear as a Twitter card, linking users through to the full post – here’s an example shared by Matt Navarra:

Tap through and you’re taken to the full text:

Twitter Notes beta

Note titles are limited to 100 characters, and the body of a Note can be up to 2,500 words, giving you a heap more room for your longer-form content in the app.

And unlike tweets, Note writers will be able to edit their notes after they’ve been published, with an ‘Edited’ label added to the top of the Note.

Which seems so simple – an ‘edited’ label. Imagine that on actual tweets.

Finally, notes will also have unique URLs which people can navigate to from outside of the Twitter platform, ‘whether or not they are logged in to Twitter, and even if they do not have a Twitter account’. That will facilitate broader sharing activity, and could make it a more valuable long-form option.

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Potentially.

Twitter’s been trying to integrate its own blogging-type platform for years, in order to cater to users who end up tweeting either long tweet threads or adding screenshots of text to their tweets.

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Indeed, back in 2016, when then Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey explained that that company was looking at potential options to enable longer posts within tweets (which eventually resulted in the expansion of tweet length to 280 characters) he used a screenshot of text to communicate his logic.

Adding its native Threads option provided additional capacity on this front, while Twitter also purchased newsletter platform Revue last year, which it now prompts users to try out if they’re looking to post longer text updates.

Notes will expand upon the same – but it remains to be seen whether users really want, or need to post longer form content of this type direct to Twitter itself, or whether they’re better off re-directing users to their own websites and WordPress blogs, where they can gather visitor data, serve ads and more, within an element that they control.

I mean, clearly there is some need for longer content options on Twitter, at times – but will writers really want to be publishing direct to Twitter, given most have likely already established their audiences via other tools?

Apple’s ATT update has also prompted more people to consider first-party data, and the value of building direct connection, independent of social platforms and digital providers, and in this sense, Twitter Notes does seem a little outdated or ill-timed.

But still, it could provide new promotional opportunities – and it’ll also be interesting to see if Twitter users themselves are keen to read longer form, native tweet blog posts, which will be the real story in the end.

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Right now, however, Twitter says that Notes won’t see an algorithmic boost, and won’t get any sort of priority over regular tweets. So the value doesn’t seem to be huge, but hopefully, Twitter will share usage data soon.

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Twitter’s Notes option will be made available to a selected group of writers, as chosen by Twitter, to begin with.



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Elon Musk’s Team Asks for More Data to Complete Assessment of Twitter Bots

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Elon Musk's Team Asks for More Data to Complete Assessment of Twitter Bots

Okay, let’s just check in on the latest with the Twitter/Elon Musk takeover saga, and where things are placed to close out the week.

According to the latest reports, Musk’s team recently asked Twitter for more tweet info, in order to help it make an accurate assessment of bot activity in the app. This comes after Musk questioned Twitter’s claim that bots and fake accounts make up only 5% of its active user base, and said that his Twitter takeover deal could not go ahead unless Twitter could produce more evidence to support this figure.

Which Twitter did, by providing Musk with access to its ‘full firehose’ of tweets over a given period, which it shared with Musk’s team back on June 8th. Musk’s group has now had that data for a couple of weeks, but this week, it said that this info is not enough to go on, and that it needs even more insight from Twitter to make its judgment.

And after initially resisting calls for more data access, Twitter has now reportedly relented and handed over more tweet data access to Musk’s team.

Which may or may not be a concern, depending on how you see it.

In its initial data dump, Twitter reportedly gave Musk’s team info on:

  • Total user tweets (within a given time period)
  • Data on which devices were used

As noted, Musk’s team says that this has not provided it with the insight that it needs to conduct an accurate analysis of potential bot activity, so Twitter has now provided Musk with more ‘real-time API data’.

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It’s not clear whether that means that Twitter has provided everything that its API systems can provide, but that could mean that Musk’s team can now access:

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  • Real-time info on tweet text and visual elements/attachments
  • Data on retweets, replies, and quote Tweets for each
  • Data on tweet author, mentioned users, tagged locations, hashtag and cashtag symbols, etc
  • Date, time, location, device info

That should satisfy any analytical needs to uncover potential bot trends, and get a better handle on Twitter’s bot problem, though it also means that Musk has all your tweet info – which, again, it’s worth noting, Twitter up till now had been hesitant to provide.

I’m sure it’s fine. Musk’s team is beholden to disclosure laws around such, so it’s not like they can do anything much with that info anyway, in a legal sense. But the idea that the sometimes erratic Elon Musk now has all the tweets could be a little concerning for some.

But Twitter likely had to provide what it can, and if Musk is going to become CEO of the app soon anyway, he’s going to have access to all of that data either way.

But still, given Musk and Co’s past history of undermining and attacking critics, sacking trouble maker employees and digging up potential dirt on rivals, it sits a little uneasy.

Should be fine. No problems – no need to go deleting all your DMs (which are likely not included in the data that Twitter has provided at this stage).

According to reports, Musk’s team says that it now has the info it needs to make its assessment of bot activity, which should see the deal move forward (or not) sometime soon.

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Of course, no one knows what exactly is going to happen next, and whether Musk’s team will look to renegotiate, or even back out of the deal entirely as a result of its bot analysis. But it does seem like, one way or another, Musk will be forced to go ahead with the $44 billion transaction, with Twitter’s past bot reporting methodology already accepted by the SEC, giving it legal grounding to argue that it’s acted in good faith, regardless of what Musk’s team finds.

The next steps then, according to Musk, would be securing debt financing and gaining Twitter shareholder approval, clearing the last hurdles for Musk to change the app’s name to ‘Telsla Social’, and add a million references to ‘420’ into the platforms various terms and conditions.

Because of the memes, because weed jokes are still funny to the richest man in the world – because he vacillates between inspired genius and a massive nerd who now gets to play out some fantasy of being cool.

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Or something. Who knows what goes on in Elon Musk’s head – which is also why most are hesitant to bet against him, as nobody knows if and how he might be able to fix Twitter, and whether this is a great investment or a massive disaster.

It seems like we may soon find out. Maybe. Who knows. Either way, the memes should be great.



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