In a move that could reshape the way news links are presented on the platform, social media entity X, previously recognized as Twitter, is undergoing a significant change under the leadership of its owner, Elon Musk. The decision, reported by Fortune and later confirmed by Musk, involves altering the appearance of news links by displaying only the main image while omitting headlines and other accompanying text. This adjustment could potentially limit users’ ability to preview content before clicking on links.
Currently, news links on X appear as “cards” within users’ timelines, featuring an image, source address, and a brief headline. This presentation has been effective in enticing clicks and aiding publishers in reaching a broader readership. Musk’s decision to alter this format might be an endeavor to incentivize users to subscribe to X’s premium service.
The change could prompt users to incorporate more text in their posts, as shortened links may encourage expanded content. X’s premium service permits a single post of up to 25,000 characters, suggesting a shift toward longer-form content.
While the immediate impact on advertisers remains unclear, this alteration aligns with Musk’s vision of positioning X as a more pertinent platform for content creators. Subscribers of the premium service now enjoy benefits such as posting lengthier videos, gaining higher post visibility, and receiving a share of ad revenue.
Elon Musk’s tenure as owner of X, which commenced in October 2022, has witnessed several rapid modifications to the platform, some of which have adversely affected the news media sector constituting a substantial portion of its user base. Musk’s changes encompass suspending journalists from the platform, revoking verification from numerous media figures, and embarking on his own journalistic initiatives, notably the Twitter Files project. Under this project, investigative articles were directly published on the platform.
Musk’s latest move seems to position X in favor of direct content creators, potentially reshaping the dynamics of news dissemination and consumption within the platform.