Musk to remove headlines from X posts

By: Rob Corbidge, 22 August 2023

X social media logo

Revamping the "cards" Twitter used to display content, X is planning to remove headlines from shared content on the platform

Headlines will be removed from news articles appearing on the X platform, Elon Musk has confirmed.

Posts will instead display only the lead image of the shared content.

The move, broken by Fortune and confirmed by Elon Musk himself will mean that publishers who regularly use X as a content sharing route will have to rethink their presentation on the platform. It could also alter the dynamic of organic content sharing, and so potentially the pattern of viral content on the platform.

A source who spoke to Fortune, a seemingly very well placed one, said: "It’s something Elon wants. They were running it by advertisers, who didn’t like it, but it’s happening,” the source said, adding that Musk thinks articles occupy excessive space on the timeline." 

There is of course the possibility that it will make little difference. Back when the platform was Twitter, an initiative was launched to get users to actually read or watch content before they commented on it.

The removal of headlines could have a similar effect, and be part of an attempt to force those who publish on X to produce more engaging posts within the platform. 

According to Fortune the "planned changes to shared articles are currently being tested internally, but it could not be learned when it will be rolled out to the public".

On Monday Musk urged journalists who "want more freedom to write" to publish directly to X.