X is planning to implement major changes to the way shared articles appear on a post.
“This is coming from me directly,” Musk wrote on X, responding to an earlier Fortune report that broke the news. “Will greatly improve the esthetics,” he added.
This is coming from me directly. Will greatly improve the esthetics.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 22, 2023
“It’s something Elon wants,” an unnamed source told Fortune. “They were running it by advertisers, who didn’t like it, but it’s happening.”
Currently, posts with links are displayed as a “card” which shows the headline, lead image, and a short description of the story.
The unnamed source told Fortune that Musk feels that news articles take up too much space on the timeline and wants to curb clickbait.
The change would reduce the height of posts with links and how much information can be portrayed. Users would have to rely on just the picture to gauge what the link is about.
And anyone who wants to post a link will need to manually add their own text to explain what it is, which could reduce how often news articles are shared.
The card format was introduced when tweets were restricted to 140 characters. That limit can now be increased to 25,000 if a poster is subscribed to X Premium.
X hasn’t said when it will introduce the changes to links.
Although some of these appear to have already been implemented on the mobile app. The headline is still visible, but there is no story summary below this. The URL is overlaid on the image, but it only shows the parent link, such as “businessinsider.com.”
A few hours before responding to Fortune’s report, Musk encouraged journalists to publish directly on X, saying there would be “more freedom to write and a higher income.”
If you’re a journalist who wants more freedom to write and a higher income, then publish directly on this platform!
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 21, 2023
Since X introduced a program that gives creators a share of the revenue generated through ads that are featured in the replies to their posts, some users like controversial influencer Andrew Tate say they received $20,000 from Musk’s platform.
But others have received far less than a typical monthly salary. Matt Navarra, a social media consultant with 170,000 followers, said he received $369.
$369 = £267 pic.twitter.com/Z7dQwgmK9f
— Matt Navarra (@MattNavarra) August 8, 2023
X did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.