Facebook has been making big moves into the publishing world, and its next step appears to be rolling out something a bit like a blogging platform. As spotted by developer Dave Winer, Facebook seems to be revamping its old Notes feature into what looks like its own take on the blogging / publishing platform Medium. New posts made through Facebook Notes are wider, include a big cover image, and are presented with large clean text and a clear headline. "We’re testing an update to Notes to make it easier for people to create and read longer-form stories on Facebook," a Facebook spokesperson tells The Verge. For now, the test only appears to be available to a small group of people.
Remember Notes? Remember Walls? Remember blogging?
Facebook Notes has pretty much sat dormant for years. A while ago, Notes let Facebook users post blog-like entries on their Wall (back when Walls were a thing), but that hasn't really been necessary since Facebook started raising the character limit on statuses. Notes are still around, but you have to go a bit out of the way to make one; they also don't stand out very much from a normal status message.
This update to Notes should make them a lot more prominent. Facebook is likely hoping to get people writing longer blog posts, which would be native to the site and presumably faster to load through its mobile apps. Though Medium already seems to be the platform of choice for journalists and many professionals in media and technology, Facebook has a huge built-in audience who may be eager for a new way to share their thoughts — and see them spread — through the site.
Update 11:15AM ET: this story has been updated to include comment from Facebook.
Verge Video: Instant articles are coming to your newsfeed