Elon Musk wants to change the way news articles and links appear on X. Here's how

DailyBiteAug 23, 2023 | 15:53

Elon Musk wants to change the way news articles and links appear on X. Here's how

Elon Musk wants to change this news feature. Photo: DailyO, X logo

Elon Musk has a new plan for X, formerly Twitter, and it involves playing around with the news links. If you are someone who either posts news links, shares them or just scrolls through X clicking on news links at times, this new development if implemented can have an impact. 

What's the change?

  • X's owner Elon Musk wants to do away with the "cards" that are generated automatically when you post a news link. 
  • The card usually appears with the feature image, source address like dailyo.in, an abridged headline, and an abridged excerpt. Often the links or the cards appear with text giving a brief explanation other than the headline and the excerpt about the topic. 

  • But Musk now wants to remove the headline and the excerpt to keep only the image of the article, which will be clickable. These links or images can be accompanied by text. 
  • The new development, which is still in consideration, will give authors of the articles or links less space on the platform to give context to the imagery. 
  • The development was first reported by Fortune and was confirmed by Musk in a tweet, who said it was to improve the 'esthetics (sic)'. 


  • According to an unnamed source quoted by Fortune, the primary objective is to reduce the height of the tweets and freeing up more space on users' timeline. 
  • Musk also reportedly believes it will curb clickbait articles by removing the clickbait-y headlines.  
It's something Elon wants. They were running it by advertisers, who didn't like it, but it's happening.
- Source (Fortune)
  • Since the new move would reduce the space for authors to give context to images, it could be used to make people sign up for X Premium or Twitter Blue subscriptions. 
  • Premium service allows authors to post up to 25,000 characters. But this argument contradicts the primary objective of reducing the height of tweets. 
  • While on one hand, Elon Musk wants to reduce the space freely available for news outlets and journalists to share articles, he has also been pitching X for journalists to run their businesses.  

  • Musk wants journalists to publish directly to X and make extra money through shared ad revenues (of course after subscribing to premium service).
  • His pitch for journalists comes after he suspended journalists critical of him from the platform when he took over, and removed verification for media outlets and figures.
  • The move if implement will no doubt have major implications for authors, publications, and even advertisers. 

In recent times it seems like news by recognised media outlets has been caught in the crosshairs of tech moguls of the world, either individually or as a result of wider policy changes. Recently, Meta barred access to news content on Instagram and Facebook in Canada after a new policy ordered tech giants to pay media organisations and publishers for hosting content on their platforms. 

Last updated: August 23, 2023 | 15:53
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