Twitter is finally giving you editable tweets… but only as part of its new test: Notes.
Notes are story posts on and off Twitter that can be much longer than 280 characters and include images, GIFs, embedded Tweets, and videos. They can also – yes, finally – be edited before and later publish.
Twitter introduced the new feature on Wednesday, naturally, your own note (opens in new tab).
To be clear, Notes are not exactly Tweets. They live in the Twitter timeline space, but long posts currently lack several core Twitter features, including likes, retweets, and replies.
Additionally, 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 early days, writers have depended on Twitter to share their work, get noticed, get read, create conversation – anything but actual writing. With Notes, the goal is to fill in the missing piece and help writers find whatever kind of success they desire.”
Since 2015, this is @revue’s home. As of today, @revue is now part of @TwitterWrite. pic.twitter.com/BanKBm1726June 22, 2022
In some ways, it’s less about glorifying Tweets and more about Twitter fully ingesting Revue, the newsletter platform. acquired in 2021 (opens in new tab).
In fact, Twitter changed the Revue Twitter handle to @TwitterWrite to better align it with the Embedded Notes.
If that sounds familiar, the whole effort might seem a little, well, like SubStack. This is also probably intentional. Substack is a content platform that blurs the line between newsletters and online publishers. It is building a vast collection of bespoke media brands.
Twitter has a lot more voices on its platform, but until now, they’ve all been restricted to 280-character Tweets or massive Threads, which Twitter, by the way, isn’t abandoning. They could use Twitter’s longer-form Revue newsletter platform, but Revue isn’t 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 post) and then edit is a big problem. We know that Twitter is working on the best ways to allow editable Tweets. Perhaps Notes will allow them to test out some ideas.
It’s not like it’s a broad-based test. For the next two months, Notes will only be available to a small collection of writers from the US, Canada, UK and Ghana. Twitter did not identify any of these writers. Personally I hope it includes Active Tweeter and Master of Horror Stephen King (opens in new tab).
As of press time, potential Twitter owner Elon Musk has yet to comment on the availability of Notes.