News headlines return to X months after Musk removed them for ‘Esthetics’


News headlines are back on X, formerly known as Twitter, nearly three months after the platform cut them, forcing users and news outlets alike to manually write them on articles shared to X—though the return of the feature comes with smaller, slimmed down headlines for reposted articles.

Musk instituted headline removals last year. (Photo by ALAIN JOCARD/AFP via Getty Images)

AFP via Getty Images

Key Facts

Headlines for shared articles are now located on the lower portion of thumbnails following the change.

Longer headlines of roughly 75 characters or more are cut off with ellipses but expand in length when users click on posts as opposed to looking at them from a timeline.

Owner Elon Musk, who gave the directive to remove headlines to “greatly improve the esthetics” of posts on X, hasn’t tweeted about why the platform walked back its formatting change.

As of Tuesday afternoon, the change only applied to X as it is viewed on web browsers—not its mobile app.

The change is different from how Musk initially planned to bring headlines back, which would have placed them in the upper portion of article thumbnails, according to a post Musk made in November.

Forbes Valuation

We estimate Musk’s net worth at $251.3 billion, the highest in the world.

Key Background

Musk’s change to headlines last year received criticism from journalists, who took issue with the fact that they would have to manually input headlines for news articles shared to X, and complained that readers would no longer be able to easily discern the content of a news story since headlines would no longer be attached to them. The removal of headlines came not long after Musk made a series of posts critiquing legacy news media and claiming X was a better alternative for learning about news. X has gone through a flurry of changes since Musk acquired Twitter for $44 billion in 2021, capped by the change in its name. The platform has since had modifications to its formatting and blocking features, along with the introduction of a premium plan that gives paying users exclusive customization options and features such as editing and undoing posts.

Further Reading

X Removes Headlines From News Articles In Latest Major Update (Forbes)

Year Of Musk: X Faces Slashed Valuation And Fewer Advertisers One Year After Twitter Takeover (Forbes)

Musk Ends Block Feature On X In Latest Twitter Change-Up (Forbes)

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