Twitter is finally giving you editable tweets...but only as a part of its new test: Notes.
Notes are story-length posts on and off Twitter that can be far longer than 280 characters, and include images, GIFs, embedded Tweets, and videos. They can also - yes, finally - be edited before and after publish.
Twitter introduced the new feature on Wednesday in, naturally, its own Note.
To be clear, Notes are not exactly Tweets. They live within the Twitter timeline space, but the lengthy posts currently lack a number of core Twitter features, including Likes, Retweets, and Replies.
Plus, your Notes collection will be stored in a separate Notes tab on your Twitter profile.
In the post, Twitter explains the rationale for introducing Notes:
"Since the company's earliest days, writers have depended on Twitter to share their work, get noticed, be read, create conversation — everything but the actual writing. With Notes, the goal is to fill in that missing piece and help writers find whatever type of success they desire."
Since 2015, this has been the home of @revue. Starting today, @revue is now a part of @TwitterWrite. pic.twitter.com/BanKBm1726June 22, 2022
In some ways, this is less about embiggening Tweets and more about Twitter fully ingesting Revue, the newsletter platform it acquired in 2021.
In fact, Twitter changed the Revue Twitter handle to @TwitterWrite to better align it with the embedded Notes.
If any of this seems familiar, the whole effort might appear a bit, well, SubStack-like. That, too, is probably intentional. Substack is a content platform that blurs the line between newsletters and online publishers. It's building a vast collection of bespoke media brands.
Twitter has far more voices on its platform, but, until now, all were constrained to either 280-character Tweets or massive Threads, which Twitter, by the way, is not abandoning. They could use Twitter's longer-form Revue newsletter platform, but Revue is not necessarily as well-known as SubStack. With Notes, Twitter can bring the big content stage to its most popular space.
The fact that there will now be something on Twitter where you can post (or publish) and then edit is a big deal. We know Twitter is working on the best ways to allow for editable Tweets. Perhaps Notes allows them to test out some ideas.
It's not like it'll be a broad-based test. For the next two months, Notes is only available to a small collection of writers from the U.S., Canada, the U.K., and Ghana. Twitter did not identify any of those writers. Personally, I hope it includes active Tweeter and horror master Stephen King.
As of this writing, potential Twitter owner Elon Musk has yet to comment on the availability of Notes.
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A 35-year industry veteran and award-winning journalist, Lance has covered technology since PCs were the size of suitcases and “on line” meant “waiting.” He’s a former Lifewire Editor-in-Chief, Mashable Editor-in-Chief, and, before that, Editor in Chief of PCMag.com and Senior Vice President of Content for Ziff Davis, Inc. He also wrote a popular, weekly tech column for Medium called The Upgrade.
Lance Ulanoff makes frequent appearances on national, international, and local news programs including Live with Kelly and Ryan, Fox News, Fox Business, the Today Show, Good Morning America, CNBC, CNN, and the BBC.