Twitter to expand into long-form content with upcoming Twitter Notes feature

In what could be one of Twitter’s more significant changes since doubling the character count from 140 to 280 characters, the company is preparing to launch a new feature that would support the direct publishing of long-form content on its platform. With Twitter Notes, as the upcoming feature is called, users will be able to create articles using rich formatting and uploaded media, which can then be tweeted and shared with followers upon publishing.

The feature is being tested with select users ahead of an upcoming public launch, we understand. (Twitter declined to comment but said it would share updates about the feature “soon.”)

If broadly adopted, Twitter Notes could potentially change how some people use the social media platform to share their more in-depth thoughts and ideas.

Today, it’s common for users to create numbered Twitter threads to connect a series of tweets together as a means of storytelling or when explaining any subject that stretches beyond Twitter’s supported character count. As a result of this user activity, Twitter officially embraced threads back in 2017 with the launch of a new Twitter composer screen that made multi-tweet posts — or tweetstorms as they’re also known — easier to create and publish. At the time, there were hundreds of thousands of threads posted daily, the company had said. That number has likely since grown.

But while Twitter threads encourage engagement as users click to expand the related tweets and replies, they can also be a bit unwieldy to peruse — particularly for longer content. That’s given rise to helpful bots, like Thread Reader App, which turn these tweetstorms into links where the thread’s individual posts are formatted like an article for readability’s sake. These days, you’ll often see users requesting the bot’s help in threads’ replies by tweeting out “@threadreaderapp unroll.”

Beyond threads, users have also worked around Twitter’s character count restrictions by writing long-form content in the Notes app on their smartphone then posting a screenshot of their missive. This works to quickly get a message out to a large audience, but doesn’t benefit Twitter as the text in the screenshot isn’t searchable and hashtags aren’t clickable the way text posted natively to the platform would be.

Twitter Notes could potentially offer an alternative to both problems by allowing users to instead write long-form articles directly on Twitter itself. This lets users share their thoughts, as before, while still being able to tap into the potential for viral distribution that comes with posting to the platform. Like tweets, the Notes would have their own link, and could be tweeted, retweeted, sent in DM’s, liked, and bookmarked.

The feature had been spotted in testing earlier this year by app researchers, including Jane Manchun Wong and others. Initially, Notes was being called “Twitter Article,” researchers found.

In images Wong posted in May, the feature offered formatting tools in a bar at the top of the screen similar to those you’d find in blogging software — like options to bold text, add italics or strikethrough, insert ordered lists, add links, change the style, insert media and embedded items, track word count, and more. Users could also add either 1 GIF, 1 video, or up to 4 photos to their article, as well as include embedded tweets either via URLs or their own bookmarks, the screenshots showed.

Wong noted there was also a “Focus Mode” that would expand the article to a full-screen view and hide Twitter’s sidebars. She said the feature looked fairly polished, which suggested it could be nearing launch.


In a related series images shared by app researcher Nima Owji this April, the feature was shown to support saving articles as drafts and an interface for accessing both drafts and published content.

When publishing a Twitter Notes, Owji found that users could check or uncheck boxes to automatically tweet the article to their feed, their Twitter Circle, or their Communities, as well as copy the article URL for sharing elsewhere — like on another website or in an email, for instance.

In the current version, now called Notes, the feature will be accessible from users’ profiles directly to the right of the “Tweets & replies” link and before “Media,” app researchers said.

Mobile product intelligence firm was additionally able to confirm the development of Twitter Notes, which it found to be ready for launch in the latest version of the Twitter app. The firm also confirmed the feature was located next to “Tweets & replies,” giving it a prominent place on users’ profiles.

While this link lets users view an account’s published Notes, those who want to write new Notes can do so through a link added to Twitter’s main navigation. During tests, Owji discovered Twitter had been experimenting with this app icon, which was at one point relabeled as “Write” in the left-side column on Twitter’s web app, just beneath Twitter Blue.

Of interest, this is the spot “Newsletters” has held following Twitter’s acquisition of Revue — a choice that could point to an attempt to merge Twitter’s two long-form writing products, Notes and Newsletters.

The introduction of Twitter Notes may pose some competition with long-form blogging platforms, like WordPress or Medium — the latter coincidentally developed by Twitter co-founder Evan Williams. It could be particularly useful for those users who infrequently publish article-length content and don’t want the hassle of setting up and maintaining their own blog or website. If integrated with newsletters as well, it could also potentially compete with the popular newsletter platforms like Substack, whose authors often promote their subscriptions via Twitter.

That said, Twitter Notes could have some challenges ahead. As Facebook previously demonstrated, on-platform blogging efforts from social media companies don’t always pan out as hoped. Facebook had tried to compete in this area when, in 2006, it launched a bare-bones blogging feature (also called Notes) to offer users a way to post long-form text that wouldn’t fit in a Facebook status update. The feature was then part of Facebook’s larger strategy to chase original content but never became a popular publishing platform. Facebook quietly shut down Notes in October 2020. These days, Facebook is chasing Substack with its newsletter platform Bulletin.

But users may be hesitant to publish to a social platform where business objectives continually change, instead of to a site that’s more dedicated to long-form content publishing and distribution.

Similarly, Twitter will need to be able to convince users that its long-form publishing tool is something it’s committed to as opposed to one of its numerous experiments which could wound down if it fails to achieve traction.

On top of that, Twitter’s entire product initiative strategy is in flux as the company awaits the Elon Musk takeover to complete. Musk has said he wants to be involved in Twitter’s product, and has previously stressed his priorities were growing Twitter’s revenue and user base, while eliminating bots. A Bloomberg report also indicated Twitter has been pulling back resources across several of its long-term projects, like Spaces, Communities, and Newsletters in advance of Musk’s arrival.

Twitter is expected to launch Twitter Notes in the coming weeks, we understand — unless, of course, Twitter’s internal upheavals prevent this.

Facebook tests a new ‘Professional’ mode for creator profiles

Meta (formerly Facebook) today is introducing a new “Professional” mode for user profiles, designed to be used by creators looking to monetize their followings on the social network. The new mode, which is initially available to select creators in the U.S., will present creators with additional money-making opportunities and expanded insights that had been previously only available to Facebook Pages.

Among these will be the ability for creators to participate in the new Reels Play bonus program, where some creators are able to earn up to $35,000 per month based on the views for their short-form video content. However, access to this program, for the time being, is invite-only — meaning Meta will determine which creators qualify to earn bonuses.

While Meta didn’t share what other monetization options will be available in the days ahead, it did note that it will also make professional-level insights available to these creators which are similar to what Page owners have access to. This includes access to post, audience, and profile insights. For example, creators will be able to now see the total number of shares, reactions, and comments that their posts have and be able to view their follower growth over time. This allows them to make better, more informed decisions about the content they post and how it resonates with their audience.

Image Credits: Meta

While many creators are already using Facebook profiles instead of Pages to attract fans and followers, Meta warns that others who decide to opt into this new experience will be opening themselves up to being more of a public figure on the social network. That means anyone can follow them and see the public content posted to their feed, but they’ll be able to mark posts as either public or friends-only, as you could otherwise on a private profile.

Meanwhile, creators who are using Facebook Pages will be opted into the new Pages experience instead This will provide access to a Professional Dashboard that will serve as a central destination for admins to review the Page’s performance and access professional tools and insights, the company notes. Facebook is also testing a two-step composer on Pages which allows creators to schedule posts and cross-post into a group.

The changes come at a time when Meta is heavily investing in its creator user base, as it sees the potential in a new revenue stream that comes from things like creator subscriptions and virtual tips, aka “Stars” — the latter which it just made available yesterday outside the app stores through a new website where it no longer has to pay commissions to Apple and Google. The company earlier said it was planning to lure in creators with $1 billion in payments, like the Reels bonuses among other things, as the competition for creator talent heats up with TikTik and other top social apps, like YouTube, Twitter, Snapchat, and others.

Meta notes that the new Professional mode is still in testing with select creators in the U.S. for now, but will roll out more broadly in the future, including to the EMEA region.

Psychedelic VR meditation startup Tripp raises $11 million Series A

As an increasing number of startups sell investors on mobile apps that help consumers prioritize well-being and mindfulness, other startups are looking for a more immersive take that allow users to fully disconnect from the world around them.

Tripp has been building immersive relaxation exercises that seek to blend some of the experiences users may find in guided meditation apps with more free-form experiences that allow users to unplug from their day and explore their thoughts inside a virtual reality headset while watching fractal shapes, glowing trees and planets whir past them.

As the name implies, there have been some efforts by the startup to create visuals and audio experiences that mimic the feelings people may have during a psychedelic trip — though doing so sans hallucinogens.

“Many people that will never feel comfortable taking a psychedelic, this is a low friction alternative that can deliver some of that experience in a more benign way,” CEO Nanea Reeves tells TechCrunch. “The idea is to take mindfulness structures and video game mechanics together to see if we can actually hack the way that you feel.”

The startup tells TechCrunch they’ve closed a $11 Million in funding led by Vine Ventures and Mayfield with participation from Integrated, among others. Tripp has raised some $15 million in total funding to date.

Image via Tripp

VR startups have largely struggled to earn investor fervor in recent years as major tech platforms have sunsetted their virtual reality efforts one-by-one leaving Facebook and Sony as the sole benefactors of a space that they are still struggling to monetize at times. While plenty of VR startups are continuing to see engagement, many investors which backed companies in the space five years ago have turned their attention to gaming and computer vision startups with more broad applications.

Reeves says that the pandemic has helped consumers dial into the importance of mindfulness and mental health awareness, something that has also pushed investors to get bolder in what projects in the space that they’re backing.

Tripp has apps on both the Oculus and PlayStation VR stores and subscription experiences that can be accessed for a $4.99 per month subscription.

The company provides a variety of guided experiences, but users can also use the company’s “Tripp composer” to build their own visual flows. Beyond customization, one of Tripp’s major sells is giving consumers deeper, quicker meditative experiences, claiming that users can get alleviate stress with sessions as short as 8 minutes inside their headset. The startup is also exploring the platform’s use in enterprise in-office wellness solutions. Tripp is currently in the midst of clinical trials to study the software platform’s effectiveness as a therapeutic device.

The company says that users have gone through over 2 million sessions inside the app so far.