Facebook is currently testing a revamped Notes section that it hopes will give Medium and LinkedIn Pulse a run for the blogging platformsÃ¢ÂÂ money.
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When Facebook raised the limit to 60,000 characters for Facebook statuses in 2011, the social network inadvertently killed off a feature that wasn't being used much anyway. Since then, nobody was using Notes to fire off longer posts, since they could just do that straight on their statuses.
But after years of being left behind in the dust, the long neglected feature has received a brand, spankin' new makeover that Facebook hopes will help Notes become the blogging platform of choice for many users. And as a research firm points out, blogging has become a favorite activity of teenagers, a demographic that is increasingly leaving the social network in droves as they are turned away by their parents and grandparents on the social network.
"Blogging's one of those odd ones that seems to be trendy again. It was very popular seven, eight, nine years ago," Alan Pelz-Sharpe, research analyst at 451 Research, tells Wired. "People obviously did carry on blogging, but it sort of went away from the spotlight. It's actually getting very popular with teenagers again, who are going through that whole journaling move." Â
Older users have taken to Medium and LinkedIn Pulse as their platforms for long-form writing, but younger generations are flocking to other places as well, such as Tumblr, Blogspot or even Instagram.
The new format for Notes, which was first discovered by developer Dave Winer, is expected to cater to both audiences, as it features a clean, clutter-free interface with an easy to read font, a clearer headline and a huge banner photo that takes up the upper portion of the page. The latter is actually reminiscent of Medium, which is not surprising, since Teehan + Lax, the design team responsible for Medium, has moved to Facebook early this year.
Notes is also expected to offer support for features valued by younger users, such as the ability to insert and resize photos, add links, include hashtags in their posts and choose which of their friends will be able to read their posts via the privacy settings and tagging other people.
Currently, the revamped Notes is still in experimental mode, and only a few people have access to the new format right now. A spokesperson for Facebook has to say this in an email to The Next Web, which first reported about the revamped feature:
"We're testing an update to Notes to make it easier for people to create and read longer-form stories on Facebook."
No word yet on when Facebook plans to launch the new Notes to its wider audience of 1.4 billion.