Elon Musk to hide headlines, text from news articles shared on X to ‘improve the esthetics’

News articles posted to Elon Musk’s X will no longer display headlines or text, the billionaire confirmed Tuesday — the latest overhaul to the platform formerly known as Twitter.

Musk decided that only the lead image will be visible when a link to an article is tweeted, which will force users to add their own context.

“This is coming from me directly,” Musk wrote on X. “Will greatly improve the esthetics.”

The change is meant to reduce the vertical height of posts, which could allow more content to appear on the screen, Fortune reported, citing a source with knowledge of the matter.

Musk also reportedly “believes the change will help curb clickbait” on X.”

“It’s something Elon wants. They were running it by advertisers, who didn’t like it, but it’s happening,” the source told Fortune.

A lack of immediate context alongside articles could also be a play to nudge more users or publishers to pay for X’s subscription service, which allows users to create posts with up to 25,000 characters. Regular users are limited to 280 characters per post.

Presently, news articles posted on X automatically display the story’s image, its headline, and some summary text.

Musk did not specify when the change will take effect – though it surfaced one day after he urged journalists to publish their work on X rather than through a traditional outlet.

Elon Musk
Elon Musk said the change came “directly” from him.

“If you’re a journalist who wants more freedom to write and a higher income, then publish directly on this platform!”

The possibility of more discord comes as X CEO Linda Yaccarino is scrambling to win back advertisers who fled the platform in response to Musk’s loosened content moderation practices on the site. Musk also risked advertiser pushback with his recent decision to rebrand Twitter to X.

The change will allow X to fit more content on the screen.
SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Musk has had a contentious relationship with major news outlets that have scrutinized his actions in recent years. Earlier this month, he faced sharp criticism after the Washington Post reported that X was throttling traffic to Facebook, The New York Times, and other publications.

Users who attempted to click on links to stories from the impacted publications were met with a five-second delay. X appeared to remove the five-second delay after the Washington Post’s report surfaced.  


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