X, formerly Twitter, no longer shows headlines from articles

X logo with a black background
(Image credit: Jay Bonggolto / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • X no longer displays headlines in articles posted to the platform.
  • Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk notes that he thinks this will make X posts look cleaner.
  • The change was made on Wednesday for iOS and desktop users, but it hasn't yet reached Android users.

Elon Musk’s history of questionable decisions concerning X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, has just gained a new addition. The platform has stopped displaying headlines for links posted on the social network after Musk said it would make posts look cleaner.

Now, articles shared on X only appear as an image, which also notes the domain of the link. This means that article posts on the platform will appear truncated, making them look exactly like image posts, as you’ll only see the featured image of the article. The only difference — and an indication that it is, in fact, a link to an article — is the small text in the bottom left corner of the image detailing the site’s URL. 

(Image credit: Android Central)

The move was made on Wednesday for iOS and desktop users. At this point, it hasn’t yet reached Android users, but we don’t expect them to be safe from the change. 

Opting to remove headlines may not be a popular decision, but the move is hardly a surprise. Fortune first reported back in August that the change was in the works. Musk then took to X to confirm the plan, noting that the decision to remove headlines from article posts to X “is coming from me directly” and that it  “will greatly improve the esthetics [sic].”

Most recently, Musk had been encouraging users to post content directly to the platform in lieu of sharing links, of which he apparently isn’t a fan. The billionaire entrepreneur argues that the service’s content algorithm deprioritizes links as they divert users away from the platform. 

He recently tweeted that “our algorithm tries to optimize time spent on X, so links don’t get as much attention, because there is less time spent if people click away,” adding that “the best thing is to post content in long form on this platform.”

However, since this already appears to be an unwelcome change among users, time will tell as to whether this change to the platform’s UI will have Musk’s desired effect.