The display of news items on the former Twitter, now X, is about to change radically. According to Fortune and confirmed by Elon Musk himself, the platform will automatically stop displaying headlines and shortened captions when publishing these links and will only keep an image. This change will force the sharer of these stories to add the text they consider as an explanation, in what the owner of the company considers “a great improvement in aesthetics”.
It is unclear how much of an impact this change will have on the click-through rates (CTR) of those posts. This platform has traditionally been an information-intensive environment that did not translate into large volumes of traffic compared to other large environments such as Meta, although the gradual reduction in the latter’s flow to the media has narrowed the gap.
According to sources consulted by Fortune, the motive behind this new development driven directly by Musk is apparently the reduction in the height of tweets to make them fit more on any screen, especially on mobiles.
The owner of X had previously made it clear that he felt that posts with linked articles took up too much space and blamed this for a lower advertising impact than would be reasonable. He thus called into question the card system that Twitter launched in 2012 precisely to offer rich display formats that any website could implement and that did not consume space over the then established limit of 140 characters. Moreover, the company promoted them at the time, indicating that they could reduce the cost per click by up to 80% while increasing interaction by more than 25% and CTR by more than 60%.
The tycoon believes that the cards Twitter has been using since 2012 to format links take up too much space and promote clickbait.
According to its promoter, the new formula will make posts more interesting to get traffic and it remains to be seen the possible impact of the new limitation on the platform’s subscription scheme, whose users can write posts of up to 25,000 characters. It will also be crucial to know the acceptance of the format by advertisers, whom the CEO, Linda Yaccarino, has been courting since she took up the post in order to revive the company’s turnover.