Posts on X might look quite different, especially if you mainly follow news and media publications. The website formerly known as Twitter has started removing headlines and snippets from posted links, implementing a change Fortune reported in August. Back then, website owner Elon Musk said that the idea came from him directly and that it will “greatly improve the [platform’s] esthetics.” We tested it out by posting one of our stories, and only the article’s image with an overlay of its URL show up when it’s viewed on iOS. On the web, we still see the article snippet and a truncated version of its headline.
Advertisers reportedly didn’t like the new format when they were shown a preview of it, but the change is clearly still pushing through. X’s main reason for the format switch is apparently to make posts look more compact by fitting more of them in the portion of the timeline that appears on screen. In addition, Musk reportedly thinks that it could help lessen instances of clickbait, which rely on headlines with shock value, on the website.
While Musk publicly claims that the primary driving force for the change in format is the website’s aesthetic, it’s no secret that he’s been trying to encourage more people to post long-form pieces directly on X. The website expanded Blue subscribers’ post limit to 25,000 characters under his leadership, and he previously tweeted that journalists who want “more freedom to write and a higher income” should “publish directly” on the platform. More recently, he encouraged “more citizen journalism” on X and said that people can do “live video easily” from their phone.