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X plans to remove news headlines and text in shared articles Leave a comment

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Those who follow publications like Engadget on X, the social network formerly known as Twitter, will know that the articles they share on the platform appear with a text snippet, an image and a sometimes-truncated version of their headline. That may not be the case in the near future. According to Fortune, the company is planning to implement major changes to the way shared articles appear on a tweet (or a post, as it’s now called) by removing their text elements and leaving just their lead images with an overlay of the URL. In a post about the update, Elon Musk has confirmed that X is working on the new format and that the idea came from him directly.

That corroborates Fortune’s report, which says Musk is pushing for the new format. It also says that the change going to happen even though X ran it by advertisers who didn’t like it. The company’s main reason for removing the text in shared tweets is apparently to make posts look less compact and to fit more of them in the portion of the timeline that appears on screen. Musk also thinks it could help lessen instances of clickbait shared on the website. As the publication explains, X’s current format typically cuts part of the headline in shared articles, which works to the advantage of websites that write clickbait headlines and posts. 

It’s also very much possible that X is implementing this change to encourage not just news publications, but also individuals, to write meatier posts on the website itself. After all, they will have to add context to the URL they share in order to get readers to click through the lead image. Musk has been encouraging users to post long-form pieces directly on the platform and allows Blue subscribers to write as many as 25,000 characters in a single post. More recently, Musk tweeted that journalists who want “more freedom to write and a higher income” should publish directly on X. As 9to5Mac notes, though, X recently had some issues paying creators part of its ad revenue-sharing program, because the number of interested users far exceeded its expectations. 



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