Twitter has been testing Twitter Notes, a nifty feature that lets writers publish long-form content directly on the platform.

Yup — users may no longer need to upload a screenshot of text or create extraordinarily long Twitter threads if they want to say something a bit longer than 280 characters.

Keep reading to learn more about Twitter Notes’ potential and how it stacks up to alternatives like TwitLonger and Twitter threads.

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What are Twitter Notes?

Twitter Notes are a way to create long-form content and articles on Twitter. Unlike regular Tweets, which are limited to 280 characters, Notes can be up to 2,500 words long. Think of them as blog posts you can share directly on Twitter without linking out to a separate website.

Notes include all the essential features of a blog post, including titles, header images and embedded media.

Notes are also:

  • Shareable. Notes are posted with a unique URL, so your reader can view them even if they don’t have Twitter or aren’t logged in.
  • Public. Notes are always public, even if the author has chosen to protect their tweets.
  • Editable. Notes are editable even after publication. If you do choose to edit your Note, an Edited tag will appear on the Note.

Once published, you can share your Note to your profile using a Twitter card. The card contains a preview link and any additional text you want to add. Here’s an example of what that looks like.

When you click on the card, it opens the Note within the Twitter app.

People can’t reply or interact with Notes, but they can with the Twitter card.

Why can’t I see or create Twitter Notes?

Currently, only a select number of users can create Notes. You’ll see a tab called Write with a notebook icon in your menu if you do have access to Twitter’s longform feature. When you click on it, you can edit drafts, create new Notes, and view published Notes.

Not all Twitter users will be able to access published Notes. The feature is being tested on users from Canada, Ghana, the United Kingdom, and the United States. If you are located in a country where Notes are being tested, it’s easy to find them. Otherwise, you may not be able to write or view Notes.

To view an account’s Notes, you can simply navigate to the Notes tab on their profile. (But this only works on the web, not the app).

How to use Twitter Notes

Notes are still in the testing phase, so if the feature does roll out to the public, it may look a bit different than it does currently.

As of now, here are the instructions for creating and publishing Notes:

  1. Open your Twitter account.
  2. Select the Write tab from your menu.
  3. Choose Write to create a new Note.
  4. A blog composer tool opens where you can add a title, text, images, and other media like GIFs or tweets.
  5. Click Publish when you’re ready to share your Note with the world.
  6. Choose if you would like to Tweet the Note to your timeline or copy the link to share.
  7. Select Publish.
  8. Depending on what you chose in Step 6, your Note gets published on your Timeline, or you have a nifty link to share it anywhere on the Internet.

If you’re more of a visual person, then check out Twitter’s GIF on the process.

How to share Twitter Notes

Sharing Twitter Notes is similar to sharing regular tweets. Notes are shared on the author’s timeline, so you can retweet and quote tweet cards from there.

Here’s how to share a Note from a tweet:

  1. Navigate to the Twitter card.
  2. Select the Share icon (Located next to the Like icon).
  3. Choose Copy link to Tweet or Send via Direct Message.

If you want to share directly from a Note reading view, here’s how you can share it:

  1. Navigate to the Note.
  2. Select the More icon (three horizontal dots) on the top right corner.
  3. Choose Share via Tweet or Copy link to Note to share elsewhere.

It’s also not necessary to have a Twitter account to read Notes, so it makes it easy to share outside of Twitter. Just remember that the Note may not be visible to viewers in some countries.

Alternatives to Twitter Notes

Until Notes rolls out to the masses, many users need to find alternative ways to share long-form content on Twitter.

While a link to an external platform is an easy solution, you may want to think about options that will let the user stay on Twitter.

Here are a few Notes alternatives to consider.

Twitter threads

When 280 characters won’t do, many users choose to create multiple tweets under one thread. Threaded tweets appear in consecutive order, making them valuable for storytelling, sharing real-time updates, and providing additional context.

There are two ways to create a Twitter thread. You can either publish each tweet one at a time or publish all the tweets at once.

If your thread relies on real-time announcements (like if you’re covering a live event), then you may want to publish tweets individually. But if you’re looking to publish a fully-formed thread, it’s probably best to publish it all at once.

Here’s how to create a thread one tweet at a time:

  1. Open Twitter.
  2. Tap the plus icon (on mobile) or start typing in the “What’s happening?” prompt at the top of your timeline (on desktop) to compose the first tweet.
  3. Select Tweet to publish.
  4. Navigate to the tweet and select Reply to add additional tweets.

And here’s how to create and publish your thread all at once:

  1. Open Twitter.
  2. Tap the plus icon (on mobile) or start typing in the “What’s happening?” prompt at the top of your timeline (on desktop) to compose the first tweet.
  3. Instead of tapping the Tweet button, select the plus sign icon. On mobile, it’s at the bottom right of your screen. On desktop, it’s just to the left of the Tweet button.
  4. Add your additional tweets.
  5. Tap Tweet All to publish your complete thread.

TwitLonger

As one of the most popular text-based social media platforms, Twitter’s an obvious choice if you want to promote a piece of writing. But how do you share long-form content if threads won’t cut it and you don’t have access to Twitter Notes?

Many content creators opt to link to other blogging platforms like Medium, but some choose websites like TwitLonger. This no-frills platform lets users write posts and then share them on Twitter.

There are some drawbacks to using TwitLonger. The posts don’t have text formatting, and you can’t upload images or other media formats. It’s designed for simplicity, so you can’t do much with it besides publishing words.

TwitLonger may be a good option if you don’t have a blog and need to write the occasional long-form content for Twitter.

Here’s how to use TwitLonger:

  1. Navigate to the TwitLonger website and log into your Twitter account.
  2. After logging in, you’re taken to the new post page.
  3. Write your post.
  4. Select Post It to publish.
  5. The first 100 characters of your post are published to your timeline, along with a link to read the rest.

FAQs about Twitter Notes

Who can write Twitter Notes?

Twitter Notes are currently in testing, so only a few select users can write Notes. Twitter has chosen a small group of writers to try out the feature and provide feedback. Depending on the test results, Twitter may alter some aspects before releasing Notes to the general public.

Why can’t I see Notes on Twitter?

You may not be able to see Notes on Twitter if you are not located in one of the countries testing the Notes feature. Notes are only available to users in Canada, Ghana, the United Kingdom, and the United States. You can’t write or view Notes if you’re located outside of those countries.

When will more people be able to write Notes?

More people being able to write Notes is on the Twitter agenda. According to a Note from Twitter, “We’re excited for the moment when everyone can use Notes, but for now, our focus is on building it right.”

There is no exact timeline on when more people will be able to write Notes, but Twitter plans to expand the feature at some point.

Who can read Notes on Twitter?

Anyone can read Notes on Twitter. It’s not necessary to be logged into your Twitter account or even have an account. Notes are given unique URLs which can be shared across the Internet even if the author has their privacy settings set to private.

What is a Note card on Twitter?

A Note card on Twitter refers to a tweet promoting a Note. When you publish a note, you have the option to share it in a tweet on your timeline. If you choose this option, it will create a Twitter card with a link to your Note. You can also include additional text in your tweet to expand on what your Note is about.

Is it possible to edit a Note after it’s been published?

Unlike tweets, it IS possible to edit a Note after it’s been published. Readers will see an Edited tag appear above your Note for transparency. To edit your Note, go to the writing composer tool, select the Note, and then make your edits.

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