X is resurrecting old-school link previews, but yawnsville style

X logo on a phone screen
(Image credit: Jay Bonggolto / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • X, formerly Twitter, is reintroducing headlines on URL cards, but long headlines are getting cut off with ellipses.
  • Previously, Elon Musk removed headlines to enhance the visual appeal of posts, but this made it challenging to determine the content behind linked images.
  • The rollout is underway, so keep an eye out for these headline-enhanced link cards in your X feed on the web and iOS.

X is giving up on its headline-free diet. The social network that used to go by the name Twitter is throwing headlines back into posts with links.

However, as noted by 9to5Google, the headlines on link previews have undergone a makeover. Now, they pop up as white text on a black box, sitting on the feature image that links to a particular web page. Additionally, the platform downsized the font too, and it's hanging out at the bottom within the feature image.

Sure, the headline comeback is nice, but there's a catch. If a title gets too wordy, it's getting the snip with the ellipses treatment. Still, it's a tad better than the lazy move of slapping the website domain on the images like it's a digital name tag.

Meanwhile, the website URL has been relocated to a different spot: it's now located on a separate line between the link preview and the buttons for reply, repost, and likes. But the headline or web page title only shows up if you're posting links directly through X's web version. Likewise, iOS might catch up eventually (Android never ditched headlines on URL previews).

It's not exactly certain if the link headline revival plays nice with third-party social media aggregators. While it's not flawless, at least when you drop links on X, there's some context to spice things up again.

The site ditched headlines late last year because Elon Musk thought links looked cooler without them. Sure, it made posts smaller, but it was a bit tricky to figure out where the linked images would whisk you away when you clicked on them.

In a twist of fate, Musk later announced the return of headlines. It would have made more sense, of course, to just spruce up X's headline previews in the first place instead of axing them entirely.

Jay Bonggolto
News Writer & Reviewer

Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He has been writing about consumer tech and apps for as long as he can remember, and he has used a variety of Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. Send him a direct message via Twitter or LinkedIn.