X/Twitter Removes Headlines From Articles Shared on the Platform, Which Elon Musk Believes Will Enhance ‘Esthetics’


Elon Musk, the owner of the social network formerly known as Twitter, has made another change that is likely to upset people. X, as the platform is now called, no longer displays the headlines of articles that are shared on the site and its apps. Musk mentioned back in August that this change was in the works to improve aesthetics. He has also expressed his dislike for links posted on X, as they lead users away from the platform. X's content algorithm even deprioritizes links to optimize the time users spend on the platform. Musk suggested that posting content in long form directly on X is the best approach.

This alteration will affect the way media companies and publishers share content on X. Without the headline appearing below the image, posts may lack context unless the headline is included in the text of the post or as part of the shared image. However, articles shared on X still retain the ability to link back to the original site by clicking on the featured image.

While some users reported seeing headlines displayed in articles on their X timeline as of Wednesday, Musk has consistently shown animosity toward media outlets and has been a strong advocate for "citizen journalists" who can directly post text, audio, and video on the platform. He believes that citizen journalism breaks the monopoly of a handful of editors who dislike this disruption.

Musk has made several other changes to X since taking over in October 2022. He replaced the name and logo with "X," his favorite letter of the alphabet. He also modified the verified check-mark program, allowing any paying subscriber to obtain verification, though he initially removed the blue check-marks from celebrity accounts before restoring them shortly after. Additionally, Musk oversaw significant layoffs that resulted in an 80% reduction in the company's workforce.

Musk has mentioned that X may introduce a small monthly fee, "a few dollars or something," to combat the presence of numerous bots on the platform. He remains in control of X/Twitter and continues to lead the company's product and technology teams, along with his other responsibilities as CEO of Tesla and SpaceX.

Linda Yaccarino, the former NBCUniversal sales boss, has been appointed as X's CEO to manage the platform's business operations. However, it should be noted that Musk has eliminated Twitter's PR department, and the media-contact email account now auto replies with a poop emoji, implying a dismissive and unresponsive approach to media inquiries.  

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