Elon Musk is pushing to change how news links appear on his social media platform X, formerly called Twitter, in a move that could potentially undermine the ability of news publishers to draw audience.
X is planning to remove the headline and text while retaining just the lead image from links to news articles shared on the platform, Musk said in a post late on Monday.
This is coming from me directly. Will greatly improve the esthetics.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 22, 2023
The move is likely an attempt by Musk to get users to spend more time on X and push them to opt the subscription service for more details.
It is not immediately clear how the move will impact advertisers on the platform that Musk claimed in July had 540 million monthly users.
Currently news links come up on the timeline of users as “cards” along with an image, source address and an abridged headline. Such a packaging helps draw clicks and helps publishers gain readers.
But with the shortened links, users might end up writing some text along with their posts and eventually they could consider X’s premium service that allows a single post of up to 25,000 characters.
With the changes, Musk is pitching X as a more relevant platform for content creators. Premium subscribers can now post longer videos, their posts are shown higher up and they also receive a cut of ad sales.
The X head also announced a few days ago to do away with the ‘block’ feature soon. The block function on X allows a user to restrict specific accounts from contacting them, seeing their posts or following them. However, he mentioned that the users will still get the ability to block in DMs.
© Thomson Reuters 2023