LONDON: X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, is considering removing headlines from news articles shared on the site.
According to American business magazine, Fortune, which reported the story on Tuesday, the move is part of a bigger plan by X to redesign how articles appear on the platform.
Elon Musk, the owner of X, confirmed that the company was testing a new design for its platform.
The new design would only include the lead image and URL of a post, unless the person or publisher posting the link added their own text, as reported by Fortune. Musk said that the new design would “greatly improve the aesthetics” of the platform.
The change could have major implications for publishers who rely on social media to drive traffic to their sites, and who currently include a summary of their articles in the social media posts they share. If the new design is implemented, publishers may need to change their strategies for promoting their content on social media.
The image would still serve as a link to the article, but Musk’s reasoning for the move, the publisher reports, is to reduce the size of news posts and thus display more posts in users’ timelines.
According to the report, Musk believes that the new feature would also reduce clickbait.
Elon Musk’s plan to change the design of X has been met with mixed reactions from users. Some are skeptical that the new design will be effective in reducing clickbait, while others are enthusiastic about the move.
One user said: “Esthetics are one thing, but knowing what you’re going to read to want to click on it in the first place is another.”
Esthetics are one thing, knowing what you're going to read to want to click on it in the first place is another.
While I've seen many of your changes greatly benefit the platform & the people using it, (and even some I wasn't skeptical of,) I really don't think this one is a…
— Danika (@Pigs_FlyHere) August 22, 2023
Another user said that he welcomed the new feature and called the new design “minimal” but “much needed” because it would offer a cleaner feed with more images and less text.
This change is minimal but much needed.
Any other changes coming soon?
— Talley (@__Talley__) August 22, 2023
Fortune reported that Musk has discussed the new design with advertisers, who “didn’t like it.” However, Musk reportedly plans to go through with the redesign anyway.
The move is part of changes being pushed by the Tesla CEO in an effort to lure back users after a series of backlashes triggered by Musk’s controversial decisions.
Recently, Musk invited journalists to publish directly on X, which could potentially earn them money through Twitter’s ad-revenue-sharing model. However, they need to be paying Twitter Blue subscribers to be eligible for this.
Earlier this week, Musk said that the social media site “may fail” after a glitch caused pictures posted before December 2014 to be deleted.