Elon Musk’s X plans to remove headlines from links to news articles

August 23, 2023 - 11:19 AM
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Twitter, X Corp., and Tesla CEO Elon Musk poses prior to his talks with French President Emmanuel Macron, Monday, May 15, 2023 at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France. (Michel Euler/Pool via Reuters/File Photo)

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.

Fortune had first reported the news on Monday, citing a source that the move was pushed directly by Musk.

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.

— Reporting by Yuvraj Malik in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur