Facebook Takes a Second Stab at the Blog

facebook blogging duplicate content issuesA seemingly forgotten project, Notes was Facebook’s attempt to incorporate blogging onto its pages back in 2006. Times were different then- according to this short history on Facebook’s status update limits by Vadim Lavrusik, until 2009 there was a 160 character ceiling, which many felt was…limiting. By 2011, the character maximum on Facebook was raised to over 60,000 characters (with Lavrusik pointing out was 1/9th of the length of the average novel). Good luck filling up all that space! We are no longer subjected to stringent character limits in Facebook updates; but is the ability to blog actually necessary on Facebook with so many blogging platforms out there for the wordiest among us?

Facebook thinks it’s worth considering. Blogging is becoming “cool” again, and Facebook wants a part of that potentially lucrative pie. As confirmed through Facebook by Mic Wright, Notes has gotten a make over and is currently being tested. Aesthetically, some have suggested it echoes Medium’s format, a favorite platform for writers and tech geeks, unsurprising given that Facebook recently hired two of the designers from Medium. The features being tested, like the ability to add a header photo and photo resizing tools, gives Notes a much more blog like feel, while the ability to tag your friends is distinctly Facebook and helps make your piece more visible. The design changes have definitely set Notes apart from looking like just another long winded Facebook post, which should help lure in people once the update is released to the rest of Facebook. But, will real bloggers use it? Should they?

Bloggers interested in getting hits should be weary of copying and pasting their work. Many people are unaware of how posting content that is the same or even just a little too similar around the web can be detrimental to your quest to get noticed. Duplicate content is frowned upon by the Googlebots- if your content shows up in multiple places, traffic you were hoping would find its way to your website could end up diverted elsewhere. It is also possible that you’ll see your search rankings plummet if Google thinks you are trying to manipulate it’s algorithm. Additionally, being the free social media network that it is, Facebook could choose to delete your profile at any time for any reason. Your work could be lost, with nothing to show for it. Then again, it is possible that posting to Facebook with all your built in “friends” could help generate a buzz- but would that be worth it?

It will be interesting to see who chooses to use Notes and how. If anything, it may help generate even more excitement about blogging, but blogger, beware! You may want to consider keeping your content guarded and use one of the many available platforms that support your craft.