Publisher impact, as Elon Musk personally orders removal of headlines in news link articles found on Twitter/X
Elon Musk, the owner of X (formerly known as Twitter) has personally ordered a change that could impact news publishers.
Musk in a post (aka tweet) confirmed that Twitter is poised to rework how news links appear on the platform.
Essentially X will no longer display headlines and other text from news links and show only the main image, limiting a user’s ability to see the contents before clicking.
Presently news links on Twitter display on the timeline as “cards” that contain an image, source address and an abridged headline.
This layout helps draw clicks and helps publishers gain readers, and some feel the removal of headlines is another move by Musk against the media and news industry.
And Musk said that he ordered the change personally, saving “this is coming from me directly. Will greatly improve the esthetics.”
This is coming from me directly. Will greatly improve the esthetics.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 22, 2023
An example of the change was revealed by X News Daily.
Example via @yashar of what the new design could look like.
Right: New design (projected) pic.twitter.com/tnA69PP2Mj
— X News Daily (@xDaily) August 22, 2023
The Guardian newspaper noted that the change may be an attempt to drive people to sign up for X’s premium service. With the shortened links, users could be inclined to include more text along with their posts, it reported. The premium service allows a single post of up to 25,000 characters.
It also noted that it is not immediately clear how it will impact advertisers on the platform, which Musk claimed in July had 540 million monthly users.
It is clear Musk is not a fan of most news media outlets and news publishers, and has previously carried out changes aimed at the reporters and journalists.
When Musk sacked 80 percent of Twitter’s staff, he also sacked the entire public relations (PR) team at Twitter.
Now when journalists email Twitter seeking a comment or confirmation, they typically receive a poop emoji in reply.
The world’s second richest man also controversially suspended journalists from the platform, removed verification from many media figures, and attempted his own journalistic venture with a project called the ‘Twitter Files’, in which he had “reporters” publish “investigations” directly on the platform.