Facebook has always had a blogging option named Notes. While it was rarely used in the past, Facebook is seeking to revamp the platform so that it could become a main blogging platform much like WordPress, Blogger and Medium are today. This is an attempt to keep users on Facebook rather than have traffic go onto other websites.
“Notes has never been a particularly popular product in the Facebook stable; until now, it hasn’t offered anything too different from a status update, and there were other dedicated blogging platforms that offered users greater flexibility and made it easy to create longer-form content. The new Notes, however, could encourage people to blog from within the Facebook ecosystem, keeping them on the platform for longer—which, let’s face it, is what the social network constantly strives for,” said Elizabeth Segran at Fast Company.
Some publishers have already partnered with Facebook for Instant Articles and hosted content directly on Facebook rather than on other websites. Several employees at Teehan+Lax, the original designers of Medium, have decided to join Facebook earlier this year in a move to further revamp the Notes feature. The company, founded by partners Jon Lax, Geoff Teehan and David Gillis, was not acquired by Facebook, but several key members have joined Facebook.
“The opportunity to work on interesting and meaningful problems at such scale is very compelling. This may seem like a contradiction given our struggles with trying to scale Teehan+Lax. But scaling a services business and working on design problems and teams at scale are very different challenges. The former wasn’t interesting to us but the latter is very appealing,” the founders said.
Although the revamped Notes feature is still in the testing phase, here’s what a “new” Facebook note would look like. The design, according to software developer and writer Dave Winer, is similar to Medium, which completes the explanation of Teehan+Lax to join Facebook.
Businesses will seek to benefit from a revamped Notes feature. Tech employees and companies that have been using Medium to post content should expect a seamless transition. Analytics experts are also showing that throughout the first half of the year, Facebook sent 49.1 million viewers to WordPress, while Facebook sent around 7 million views to Medium and 914,000 to Blogger. By getting this traffic back, Facebook (and the brands that choose to use the revamped Notes feature) should benefit greatly.
“It could be a major channel for pieces from company leaders—Linkedin Pulse has proven to be a powerful platform for executives to connect with new audiences and Facebook could promise even more exposure with Notes,” said Matthew Klein, content manager at Falcon Social. Klein also saw its potential for storytelling and to get brands to identify better with consumers. “I also see it becoming a major site for brands that are investing in longer-form content. It would be natural for any lifestyle brand—companies in travel sector, the food world, home, or design, for example, could be great fit for this type of content. If brands can succeed in telling great stories that grab readers, they may be able to reach a significant audience with Notes,” he added.