Take note: Longer formats are coming to social media

Twitter has not yet confirmed when its 'Notes' option will roll out in Europe. — AFP Relaxnews

When it comes to social networks, size matters more and more. This can be seen in the new longer-form "Notes" formats developed by Instagram and Twitter. So what exactly are these new options that are springing up on social media?

Short formats are no longer the default on social platforms. On January 30, Instagram boss Adam Mosseri announced the rollout of "Notes" on the social network across Europe, the UK and Japan. This new format allows users to write longer texts than before, of up to 60 characters. These "Notes" are then available for 24 hours only, just like "Stories." Once published, "Notes" are visible in the user's messaging system, in a new section at the top of the inbox. Followers can reply to "Notes" by sending messages that show up in the user's direct messages.

In a recently posted video, Adam Mosseri explains the launch of this new option in new markets following testing in Asia, and North and South America: "Sometimes, when we launch a new feature, we launch it only to a small percentage of people, or just to a specific country. That's about testing, making sure that the feature works well, that it's well received before we launch it everywhere else. And sometimes, in the case of Notes, we launch something everywhere we can but have to hold back in a few countries if there's more work to do to comply with local regulations, which might be more onerous. And that was the case with Notes in Europe and in Japan," he explained, speaking to the camera.

This decision to continue rolling out the feature appears to be driven by positive feedback, the Instagram boss explains: "Notes has done really well in Asia, in North America and Latin America, specifically with teens, so we're excited to see how Notes does in the rest of the world," adds Mosseri in his video posted on Instagram.

If this new format seems familiar, that may be because a very similar option, bearing the same name, has been developed by Twitter. In fact, Twitter "Notes" also let users write longer texts or stories that could encourage discussions and interactions. Also launched as a test for the time being, these "Notes" are much longer than the Instagram version, as they can be up to 2,500 words, with a title of up to 100 characters.

These "Notes" are not limited in time, but the social network has nevertheless stressed that the goal is not to shift the focus onto longer content. "The purpose of the tool we are testing is to provide an additional experience for writers on Twitter outside of Tweets," reads the platform's help center.

For now, not all Twitter users have access to this new option. However, it will appear as a preview in the form of "Note" cards on users' news feeds if they are tweeted, retweeted or quoted by a followed account. Another advantage is the possibility of accessing a "Note" via its own URL, without needing a Twitter account. – AFP Relaxnews

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