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Gone But Note Forgotten: Are Facebook Notes Coming Back?

By Eric Vidal – Chief Content Officer, The Marketing Scope.

A Forgotten Feature

Unless you hopped on the Facebook bandwagon pretty early on, in the pre-messenger, pre-status update days of the mid-2000s, you probably won’t remember the blogging feature on the site known as “Notes”. Facebook Notes were simply long written posts that would show up on your wall for friends to read. Like photos, you could tag your friends in them.

Given how well similar features like LinkedIn’s Pulse are doing, the Facebook management team may be regretting letting the feature languish for so long. It’s clear to see what Facebook would gain from hosting actual content, as opposed to just people’s links to it.

I know it seems they’ve decided to jump back on the blogging train a little late in the game, but don’t count them out just yet. Given their one-and-a-half billion users, and a budget that would impress many countries, Facebook probably won’t be hurt too badly by ignoring this feature for half a decade.

What do we know so far?

Changes Are Coming

If Fortune is correct (and it appears they are) and Facebook brought Medium designers Teehan and Lax onto the payroll, then Facebook is serious about making this feature work. This is great news for people who take advantage of the feature during its early stages, since one of the ways Facebook has helped features catch on in the past is by giving them increased visibility on the newsfeed.

This tactic was enormously successful for videos, and there’s no reason to think that Facebook won’t use it again for their reborn Notes feature.

Feature List

For the moment, it’s still a pretty standard text editor, on the simple end of the spectrum of the same general interface you’d find anywhere on the web. At this point, all that’s been changed is a streamlined interface, a newer, cleaner, look, and support for images in the text. It looks a lot better, but it doesn’t really do anything new just yet. I honestly can’t recall if the preview feature is new or old, but, either way, it’s there, and it seems to work.

It’s probably safe to assume we’ll be seeing more in the near future. There are innumerable ways for Facebook to leverage their current massive platform and audience. The biggest one that leaps immediately to mind is addition of a Call to Action button, as we’ve seen on videos and business pages already. This would allow portions of blog posts to be used for lead generation, and as gateways to offsite content, which would be spectacular news for content marketers.

What Does This Mean for Marketing?

That’s what we all really want to know, right? Well, for companies already running a blog, it may very well mean they have a new way to bring in users and display their content.

Everyone who’s been in content marketing for awhile knows that catching the wave of a new outreach method is a major predictor of how well it works for you. It’s too early to be sure if this new Notes push is going fly or flop, but it’s certainly worth keeping an eye on.

By Eric Vidal – Sr. VP, Lead Generation, Broadsuite Media Group
Email: eric@themarketingscope.com, Twitter: @EricVMarketing