Less than two months after completely changing the way news articles appear on X — formerly known as Twitter — billionaire owner Elon Musk says the social media site will start displaying headlines on the platform again.
In October, headlines for articles shared to X were removed from the article previews, after Musk had said it "will greatly improve" the site's aesthetics. The move was also an attempt to keep users on the site longer by preventing them from clicking links that would redirect them to other websites.
This is coming from me directly. Will greatly improve the esthetics.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 22, 2023
Article headlines used to appear underneath an article's lead image, clearly indicating the image linked to a story, and what it was about. After the change, users were shown an image with a small URL in the bottom corner, making it easy to miss that the image was a clickable story in the first place.
This forced publishers to start either including headlines in the text of the post or on the image, in order to provide context as to what users were clicking on. But now, Musk says X is going to start displaying article headlines for links to news stories again — in a new way.
"In an upcoming release, X will overlay title in the upper portion of the image of a URL card," Musk said Wednesday in a post on X.
"The title will be in the image overlaid at the top, with URL overlaid at the bottom, as it is now — no extra vertical pixels used," he added Thursday, saying that he wasn't a fan of the previous "giant, ugly URL cards."
Musk — who leads product and engineering at X — has previously said he dislikes any links that are shared to the platform because it leads users away. But the latest change may make it easier for media companies and publications to continue to share their stories — depending entirely on how they'll appear now.
Musk did not elaborate on why the platform is reversing course or when the new changes would be implemented.