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  • Writer's pictureSarah Ruivivar

X Ditches Headlines for Aesthetics, News Outlets Wary

Updated: Oct 29, 2023

Image Credits: Dado Ruvić/Reuters

In a surprising move, X, the platform previously known as Twitter, has decided to stop displaying headlines for links posted on its site.

This decision comes directly from site owner Elon Musk, who believes that this change will enhance the aesthetics of posts.

Now, when users post links on X, only the accompanying image from the article appears, along with the domain of the link in the image's left-hand corner. This new appearance, which rolled out on Wednesday for iOS and desktop users, does not seem to apply to advertisement links.

This headline-removal plan has been in the pipeline since August. Musk had previously tweeted, "This is coming from me directly. Will greatly improve the aesthetics."

Since Musk's takeover nearly a year ago, X has become an increasingly challenging platform for news organisations. Although not a significant traffic source for many news sites, the platform is widely used by media organisations and reporters for news sharing and gathering. However, reports suggest a decline in traffic from Twitter since Musk's takeover. As a result, news outlets like NPR and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) have reduced their usage of the site.

Musk's recent tweet suggested that the X algorithm is optimised against links to encourage users to stay on the site longer. He advised users to "post content in long form on this platform."

This development comes as X's CEO, Linda Yaccarino, prepares to meet with the banks that financed Musk's $13bn purchase of Twitter last year. The meeting aims to discuss plans to revive the company after a mass exodus of advertisers.

Despite the controversy, X continues to implement changes and navigate the complex landscape of social media platforms.

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