Commentary

Facebook Revives Notes

Once upon a time, in those innocent early days of social media, Facebook has ambitions of being a blogging platform in addition to the cool new place for everyone to post baby pictures. Then everyone kind of forgot about blogging, including Facebook. But then everyone remembered blogging again, and Facebook has apparently remembered its ambitions here as well.

The result is a redesign of Facebook’s unsung blogging platform, Notes, according to TheNextWeb, which first reported the news. I wouldn’t be surprised if many readers had no idea Notes was even “a thing” on Facebook; I admit I wasn’t aware it still existed until today.

Facebook is currently testing the revamped version of Notes with a small number of users, who are getting access to a number of new features including cover photos, image formatting, links, and hashtags. As TNW points out, the new version of Notes looks rather like Medium, a favorite blogging platform for tech types. Presumably, content on Notes will be constrained by the same “no porn” rule that governs the rest of Facebook, which should instantly distinguish it from Tumblr.

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Meanwhile, Facebook is testing a number of other new features offering users more channels for personalization, which (not coincidentally) also borrow successful ideas from its rivals.

Last month, for example, Facebook began testing profile tags that allow users to describe themselves, covering everything from career and professional aspirations to family, hobbies, and whatever other attributes they can imagine. Friends can also suggest tags that will appear publicly on your profile, provided you approve of their suggested descriptors; they can also vote on the tags to indicate their agreement.
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