Elon Musk Confirms Twitter’s Move to Embrace Long-Form Articles with Mixed Media

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Twitter Notes, the intriguing feature designed to allow Twitter users to share long-form content on the platform, has resurfaced, seemingly back on track, as confirmed by none other than Twitter’s owner, Elon Musk, in a recent post on Tuesday. The revelation came in response to a tweet from a user who had suggested that the Twitter Notes project had undergone a rebranding and was now being referred to as “Articles.”

Originally introduced in June 2022, well before Musk’s acquisition of Twitter, Twitter Notes was launched as an experimental feature targeted at a select group of writers from the United States, Canada, Ghana, and the United Kingdom. These fortunate writers were granted access to a fresh “Write” tab within Twitter, offering them a dedicated space to craft and manage their long-form content, known as Notes. Additionally, their Twitter profiles sported a dedicated Notes tab, where followers and other users could effortlessly peruse all the writers’ long-form musings, conveniently assembled in one place.

The company boasted that Twitter Notes supported an array of rich formatting options and facilitated the seamless inclusion of media files. Writers could effortlessly embed photos, videos, GIFs, and even tweets into their Notes. Once published, these Notes could be shared like any other tweet, allowing writers to engage their followers and enthusiasts, who could then retweet, bookmark, like, or share the content via DMs.

After its initial launch, Twitter Notes seemed to slip into obscurity, with scarce updates or mentions of the project since Musk’s acquisition of the social media giant for a staggering $44 billion. A report from Platformer in November 2022 hinted at Twitter Notes being placed on indefinite “pause.” To make matters worse, Musk had also axed other projects related to reading and writing on Twitter, such as ad-free articles for subscribers and the newsletter platform Revue.

However, the latest development suggests a revival of Twitter Notes is imminent. On Tuesday, a user named @FaustoChou made an intriguing tweet, claiming that Twitter Notes had been rebranded as “Articles.” The tweet was accompanied by a screenshot, displaying the Notes interface, reminiscent of its earlier form, alongside several unreleased features, including “Twitter Coins.”

To the delight of Twitter enthusiasts, Elon Musk himself responded to the tweet, confirming the company’s intentions regarding Twitter Notes, now potentially known as Articles.

“This will allow users to post very long, complex articles with mixed media. You could publish a book if you want,” Musk exclaimed.

However, details regarding the timeline for public access to Articles, or what the feature would exactly entail, were not disclosed by the Twitter owner. The announcement aligns with Twitter’s broader efforts to retain creators in the face of fierce competition from platforms like Instagram Threads, which has prompted Twitter to even compensate creators with a share of ad revenue, granting some of them payouts reaching four or five figures.

Introducing long-form content through Articles could prove to be an enticing prospect for writers looking to expand their audience beyond traditional tweets. It could become an ideal platform for writers to share articles that might otherwise be relegated to their personal blogs or newsletters, such as Substack, another rival platform to Twitter.

Substack, in recent times, has launched its own Notes feature, resembling Twitter, and a chat feature that shifts conversations from social media to their dedicated platform. In response, Twitter disallowed users from retweeting, liking, or replying to tweets containing Substack links. The move implies that Twitter is now gearing up to challenge Substack head-on, offering a long-form content distribution feature that could enable it to reclaim its status as the primary hub for conversations, even those that go beyond the traditional 240-character limit.

Elon Musk’s willingness to explore the potential of Twitter beyond character constraints has been evident since he took ownership of the social network. He first increased the character limit to 4,000 and later raised it to 10,000 for Twitter Blue subscribers. The re-emergence of Articles might just be another step towards unlocking Twitter’s full potential and ushering in a new era of extended discussions and meaningful content sharing.

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