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Facebook has updated Facebook Notes, a feature available to all users, with one focus: to help you write better-looking, media-rich posts. Facebook Notes seems to be a competitor to Medium, the long-form blogging tool for Twitter Medium 1.0 Redesigns The Reading And Writing Experience Medium 1.0 Redesigns The Reading And Writing Experience Medium just had its first major update, pushing it to version 1. Stories have been redesigned to look better and have more impact, also changing how collections work to enable curation and improve discoverability. Read More , but it’s integrated tightly into the world’s largest social network.

Notes has been around for some time, but never really received a lot of attention. Partly, that’s because Notes has looked and felt outdated for some time now. And also because as we know, short posts get more likes, long posts get more shares How to Get More Likes and Shares on Facebook, According to Researchers How to Get More Likes and Shares on Facebook, According to Researchers It's not easy to get likes and shares on Facebook. Sure, you'll get a few, but how do you really maximize the engagement on a post? Researchers have a few ideas. Read More .

The new update makes Notes look modern and beautiful, and also makes it easier to write notes and publish them on one of the fastest growing social networks Here Are the Fastest Growing Social Networks You Need to Join Here Are the Fastest Growing Social Networks You Need to Join While Facebook holds the lion's share of the social market, new services like Kik, Snapchat and WhatsApp threaten to break Facebook's stranglehold on the social Internet. Read More .

How to Access New Facebook Notes

Facebook-notes-activate

On desktop, by default, Notes might not be activated in your Facebook profile. Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Go to your Facebook profile and click the “More” drop-down options.
  2. Click the checkbox next to “Notes” in the options, and click+drag it around if you want to reorder this list.
  3. Click “Save” and you’re done.

Otherwise, you can skip all this and just go to www.facebook.com/notes to be taken directly to the Notes you can see, or to compose your own.

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Facebook-notes-search-mobile

On mobile, in the search bar at the top, type “Notes” and select Notes by Facebook.

In both versions, only notes written with the new Notes update will show up in the new format. Your old notes will still be displayed in the old Facebook Notes format.

What You Can Do With Facebook Notes

facebook-notes-looks-beautiful-on-mobile

Beautiful Formatting: Facebook Notes is about making your words look good. You can add a large cover photo, just like adding a cover picture for your timeline How To Create Amazing Facebook Cover Pictures For Your Timeline How To Create Amazing Facebook Cover Pictures For Your Timeline The Facebook cover photo crowns your Timeline. You can choose a stunning photograph and keep it simple or create an eye-catching composition. No place on Facebook is better suited to show off your creativity and... Read More . You can also insert photos in the write-up, either from your Facebook photo album or by uploading from your hard drive. The end result is a beautiful reading experience, which looks great on both mobile and desktop.

Facebook-notes-rich-text-editor

Rich Text Editor: Modern blogging platforms focus on beauty and ease of creation. Tumblr’s recent update made it easier to compose posts Forget Medium: Tumblr Just Got A Facelift Forget Medium: Tumblr Just Got A Facelift Spurred on by Medium's already-gorgeous writing interface, Tumblr has just rolled out a clean post creation interface designed to inspire more longform content on the site. Read More . That’s what Facebook Notes wants to do. You can create a new note and add a beautiful cover photo and rely on the rich text editor’s tools, which include:

  • Heading 1
  • Heading 2
  • Bulleted list
  • Numbered list
  • Pull quote
  • Non-formatted code
  • Bold or italics
  • Serif or Mono fonts
  • Hyperlinks
  • Save Drafts

Facebook-notes-tag-people

Tagging People on Facebook: Since Notes is a part of Facebook, you can tag people on the social network. So if you mention a friend in a Note, then type that person’s name starting with an @ or a capitalized first letter. From the dropdown list of suggested names, pick the person you want to tag.

Facebook-notes-sharing-options

Selective Sharing: Just like you can control who sees your photos or posts Facebook Photo Privacy Settings You Need To Know About Facebook Photo Privacy Settings You Need To Know About Read More , Facebook Notes can be set to Public (anyone can see, on or off Facebook), Friends (your friends on Facebook), groups, only you, or more.

What You Can’t Do With Facebook Notes

facebook-notes-no-video-support

No Videos: Right now, you can’t add videos in Facebook Notes, which is a huge letdown. You can’t even embed your own Facebook videos. There is no way to mess around with the HTML of a Facebook Note, so you can’t embed the relevant part of a YouTube video 4 Ways to Easily Embed Part of a YouTube Video 4 Ways to Easily Embed Part of a YouTube Video We have shared quite a few useful YouTube-related tips so far. Here are 10 YouTube URL tricks to play with as well as some YouTube annoyances and ways to get rid of them. You may... Read More .

Facebook-Notes-mobile-text-editor

No Rich Editor on Mobile: The mobile version of Facebook Notes shows the new format when reading posts, and that’s fantastic to read. However, the new rich text editor isn’t available on mobile. You’re stuck with the horrible old Notes interface, which is unpleasant to use.

facebook-no-gifs

No GIFs: Animated GIFs are a language of the Internet GIFs, The Language Of The Web: Their History, Culture, and Future GIFs, The Language Of The Web: Their History, Culture, and Future Read More now, and it’s great that Facebook recently supported GIFs 4 Brilliant Facebook Tricks You'll Love Messing With [Weekly Facebook Tips] 4 Brilliant Facebook Tricks You'll Love Messing With [Weekly Facebook Tips] Here's a bunch of useful tips you can try out to get around Facebook nuisances. They're also really fun to use, so you might find yourself playing with them a lot! Read More . But you can’t run animated GIFs on Facebook Notes yet.

Facebook Notes vs. Medium vs. Others

Facebook-notes-add-photo-cover

It’s tempting to compare Facebook Notes to Medium, Tumblr, and other modern blogging platforms. But the Facebook-only photos and lack of video and YouTube embeds makes the others superior to write blog posts.

The biggest thing in favor of Facebook is its enormous reach. A recent analysis showed that Facebook drives more traffic to news sites than Google. That number is a little hard to digest at face value, but the underlying message of Facebook’s incredible ability to make people read your thoughts is clear.

Plus, by going directly to a platform where your friends and family and comment on what you are saying, you are reducing friction. If I can read your post in my Facebook feed without leaving my Facebook app, and even comment on it, I’m more likely to click.

Facebook has some great new changes 6 New Features and Changes to Facebook You Should Know 6 New Features and Changes to Facebook You Should Know It's difficult to keep up with Facebook changes, or know what's new and useful. So we are revisiting the best things to come from Facebook recently, in case you missed any of them. Read More , but Notes is among the most exciting ones. While it’s still not ready to be a blogging platform by itself, it’s a good attempt. If you have more questions about Notes, check the Facebook Notes FAQ first.

Would you want to switch from Medium or Tumblr to Facebook, given the wider reach on Facebook?

  1. Joe LaBerge
    May 29, 2016 at 2:52 pm

    I fuoking hate the new Notes! NO HTML ?? Facebook has taken away everything fun for people like me and dumbed itself down to appease the mildly educated masses. I have Drafts of Notes in the old form that Facebook wont let me post now. Unbelievable.

  2. vjcskid
    January 5, 2016 at 3:28 am

    Formatting is awful. Most of the time, the picture icon for inserting doesn't do anything. I post transport runs every week and this has created huge issues. I don't generally mind facebook's new features, but when they make it more difficult to get the word out, I'm not happy. If you're going to roll stuff out, check with all browsers, etc so this stuff doesn't happen.

  3. Mel
    November 22, 2015 at 7:10 pm

    Why does it double space everything? I am trying to post a playlist every week, which I've done for 6 yrs now, and this new format is really messing it up. None of the other format options are working. Help!

  4. John Wake
    November 15, 2015 at 7:18 am

    Best post I found on the new Facebook Notes. I still have the old version of Notes on my Page, although I have the new version on my Profile. When they add video, I'll check it out. I use a lot of video.

  5. George Bowden IV
    October 17, 2015 at 6:45 pm

    The biggest problem I have with the new Facebook Notes is in Tagging, or should I say "mentioning". In mentioning, people arent even TAGGED in notes anymore, and so it doesn't end up on their wall, or in their "tagged notes", or anything. Half the people you "mention" in the note don't even get a notification of being mentioned. That all really sucks, especially since notes are usually posts that have the MOST amount of time and energy put into them, when you need multimedia sharing with multiple pictures throughout a post in proving your points, and for that reason, it should be able to be tagged like any other status or photo. Why set notes apart from that?? It is going to seriously hurt much notes are used, especially from those who count on the exposure when writing and tagging them.. Tagging is an important feature of Notes, and should NOT be removed!!! Bring it back Facebook!!

    (btw, very nice article. good work)

  6. Michael Helbing
    October 1, 2015 at 2:27 am

    The new notes format looks okay, but it's not easy to write in, it screws up too much, jumps around and messes up when trying to keep photos embedded, and jumps to previously written paragraphs. Not good for me at all.

    • Mihir Patkar
      October 1, 2015 at 8:12 pm

      Strange, I didn't have any of those problems, Michael. If you don't mind my asking, which browser do you use, and are there any extensions that might be causing these issues?

  7. Brad Merrill
    September 29, 2015 at 6:25 pm

    Nice writeup, Mihir! I can definitely see Facebook Notes stealing some market share from WordPress.com, Blogger, and Tumblr. Casual users who might have previously used those platforms to share longform thoughts can now do so within the comfort of Facebook, which is perfect for most people.

    • Mihir Patkar
      September 30, 2015 at 6:49 am

      Thank you sir! Yeah, I think it'll be great for those for whom Facebook is the gateway to the internet. I think once a couple of influencers start using it, it will catch on. They really need to fix the video embedding though.

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