X cuts headlines from link previews as Musk wants users posting directly on the platform

X, formerly Twitter, has started cutting headlines from link cards on the iOS app and on the web. This means you will see just an image with the domain name of the link on the bottom left, which is easy to miss.

The move is part of Elon Musk’s efforts to get users to post “long-form content” directly on the platform. Musk essentially wants people to spend more time on the platform.

X is now hiding headlines in link previews

Image Credits: Screenshot by TechCrunch

Earlier this week, using data from SimilarWeb, Axios reported that traffic for news sites from sources such as Facebook and X has dropped drastically. When a user posted a chart from the report, Musk responded by saying that X’s algorithm is designed to optimize time on the platform, so links don’t get “as much attention.”

The move doesn’t really come as a surprise given Musk posted about the change in August. At that time he said that stripping headline text from link previews would “greatly improve the esthetics.”

X is not the only platform thinking about news and headlines differently. Artifact, a platform built by Instagram co-founders, is trying to make the app a discovery platform by encouraging users to post links from all over the web. In June, it started taking the help of AI to rewrite headlines of articles users deem to be clickbaits.

In September, Musk said that X users are creating 100 to 200 million posts every day. On Wednesday, the social media company’s CEO, Linda Yaccarino, said at a conference that users are sending 500 million posts per day. An X executive confirmed to TechCrunch that Yaccarino’s number was the accurate one.

Reuters reported Wednesday that X’s revenue has declined each month by at least 55% year-on-year after Musk took over the company. The company has faced challenges in retaining advertisers for the platform. In recent interviews, Yaccarino mentioned that advertisers are returning to the platform and have claimed that the company will be profitable next year.

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