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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.

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.

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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Iran pop singer silenced, but his song remains a protest anthem

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Shervin Hajipour's song "Baraye" draws on the tweets of Iranians longing for a normal life

Shervin Hajipour’s song “Baraye” draws on the tweets of Iranians longing for a normal life – Copyright Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP)/AFP –

David Vujanovic

Even though he has been silenced, Iranian pop singer Shirvin Hajipour’s impassioned song in support of protests over Mahsa Amini’s death in custody remains an unofficial anthem of the movement.

The song “Baraye” notched up 40 million views on Instagram before it was deleted when Hajipour was arrested, but he has since been freed on bail and has distanced himself from politics, likely as a condition for his release.

Baraye, the Persian word “For” or “Because”, is composed of tweets about the protests and highlights longings people have for things lacking in sanctions-hit Iran, where many complain of hardship caused by economic mismanagement.

It also draws on everyday activities that have landed people in trouble with the authorities in the Islamic republic.

“For the sake of dancing in the streets; Because of the fear felt while kissing; For my sister, your sister, your sisters,” the song’s lyrics say.

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“Because of the embarrassment of an empty pocket; Because we are longing for a normal life… Because of this polluted air.”

Baraye has been heard played loudly at night from apartment blocks in Iran to show support for protests sparked by Amini’s death on September 16, after the notorious morality police arrested her for allegedly breaching rules requiring women to wear hijab headscarves and modest clothes.

It was also sung with gusto by the Iranian diaspora at rallies in more than 150 cities around the world at the weekend.

In one clip shared by the New York-based Center for Human Rights in Iran, a group of schoolgirls without headscarves is seen singing Baraye in class with their backs to the camera.

The tune was removed from Hajipour’s Instagram account shortly after his arrest but is still widely available on other social media platforms, including Twitter and YouTube.

– ‘Because of forced Instagram stories’ –

Hajipour’s lawyer Majid Kaveh said he was released on bail at noon on Tuesday.

The reformist Shargh newspaper said his family had been informed of his arrest in the northern city of Sari on Saturday, in a report that cited his sister Kamand Hajipour.

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She had said in an Instagram post that her parents had been informed of his arrest in a call from the city’s intelligence ministry offices.

Shortly after his release, Hajipour was back on Instagram, but this time to apologise and distance himself from politics.

“I’m here to say I’m okay,” he told his 1.9 million followers on the platform.

“But I’m sorry that some particular movements based outside of Iran — which I have had no relations with — made some improper political uses of this song.

“I would not swap this (country) for anywhere else and I will stay for my homeland, my flag, my people, and I will sing.

“I don’t want to be a plaything for those who do not think of me, you or this country,” he added.

In response to his post, many on Twitter suggested the line “Because of forced Instagram stories” should be added to the lyrics of the song.

Human rights groups including Article 19 have repeatedly called on Iran to end its use of forced confessions, which they say are false and extracted under duress or even torture.

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In one recent case, a young Iranian woman, Sepideh Rashno, disappeared after becoming involved in a dispute on a Tehran bus with another woman who accused her of removing her headscarf.

She was held by the powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and appeared on television in what activists said was a forced confession before being released on bail in late August.

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