Elon Musk’s X, formerly Twitter, will display news links without headlines or descriptions. Fortune reports that the social network will display only the link and header image in posts.
Musk said he made the decision “directly” in a Monday post. He said the change would “greatly improve the aesthetics.”
This is coming from me directly. Will greatly improve the esthetics.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 22, 2023
Currently, a news article or blog post’s Twitter card preview shows the headline, summary text, and header image on the web. If the proposed change goes through, X will only post images with links. That means users will only see the link and image for an article if a publication or blog doesn’t post any text.
A source told Fortune that the update will shorten posts to fit more on one screen. Musk also believes removing headlines from preview cards will reduce clickbait. Without a preview card, publications or blogs can write any text to encourage users to click the link.
Additionally, Musk recently advised journalists seeking greater freedom and income to publish directly on X.
If you’re a journalist who wants more freedom to write and a higher income, then publish directly on this platform!
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 21, 2023
The French news agency AFP sued X this month for a “clear refusal” to discuss remuneration sharing of its news content on the platform. It is unclear whether the AFP will win its copyright law challenge to X under France’s neighboring right for news, but the social network appears to be becoming less friendly to news links, which may not be an accident.
A bug on X broke links and images posted using its native service before December 2014 over the weekend. The company confirmed the glitch through its platform support account and promised a resolution in the coming days.
X is also replacing blocking users with a mute feature that lets users follow without interacting.