News has been swirling around that Facebook is planning to invest in a re-design of one of their practically forgotten features – Notes. You guys remember Notes, right? You weren’t missing much if you don’t. In college I vaguely recall random lists and failed attempts at prose being circulated around to groups of friends using the feature. Nonetheless the rumored change and possible resurgence seems to be all the buzz.

What Notes Was.

In the early days of Facebook, status updates had a character limit. Notes was Facebook’s option for those who wanted to share long formatted posts. It had html capability for incorporating pictures and tagging. I probably shouldn’t refer to it in the past tense because Notes actually still exists. However, not only is it a feature seldom used, it’s practically hidden in the inner workings of profiles.  Since it’s inception, Facebook has lifted it’s character limit to a practically unreachable 60,000 (if you go over 60,000 you’re doing FB wrong), and photo and video can be incorporated into updates as well – sorry Notes.

What Notes Will Be.

Notes is getting a Facelift (Ha! Facelift! See what I did there?).   The image above, found on’s Social Times, shows the look that the feature may be moving toward. The post from John Bensecker shows a full-width cover image, thoughtful title spacing, blog-style date stamp, and clean text. It looks pretty. It looks provoking. It looks established. Hmmm it looks similar to or blogs.

So Why The Re-design?

As you could have guessed, they want their traffic back.  The name of the game is getting people onto your web properties and keeping them there. Blogs are a huge driver for longer sessions on your site – lots of content and reading takes time (not to mention the search engines love it). As it stands, Facebook is a highly effective way to share content from your web properties. You post your content, and in turn your Facebook audience is lead to your website, or your Youtube, or your blog, you get the idea. This model is good for you, bad for Facebook.

What Does It All Mean?

Facebook previously showed their hand when they began offering more weight in their news feeds to videos that were uploaded natively as opposed to a link to Youtube or Vimeo. Similarly, their newly designed Notes could carry more weight as well. In the end, if you want to remain noticed in your audience’s newsfeed, Facebook is pushing for you to be posting natively.   This means less traffic out and more traffic in for Facebook, and…. (drumroll please)… probably the biggest reason for the change, more ad revenue.   Although these moves may seem subtle the hopeful increase in traffic for Facebook will dramatically increase the amount of ad revenue as well as the reach, effectiveness, and likely the cost of advertising with Facebook.

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