The Controversial Return of Headlines on X: Aesthetic vs Clarity

In a surprising move, X, the microblogging site owned by Elon Musk, is reportedly reversing a controversial change that impacted link previews on the platform. This change, made last year, removed headlines from shared links, causing confusion and frustration among users. However, the recent development suggests that X is bringing back headlines for shared link previews, albeit in a slightly different format.

Last year, X made the decision to eliminate headlines from shared links, citing aesthetic reasons. Instead, links only appeared as splash images, requiring users to click on them to access the corresponding article or website. This change received significant backlash from users who found it inconvenient and lacking clarity. Many complained about the difficulty of understanding the content being shared without proper headlines.

According to reports, X seems to be bringing back headlines for shared link previews on the site. However, there is a small modification in the way this information is displayed. Headlines and website names now appear in a tiny font on the bottom left of the preview image, deviating from the more common format of URL cards on other social media platforms. It is worth noting that longer headlines may get cut off due to this new approach.

Despite reports of headlines making a comeback, neither X nor Musk has officially confirmed the return of this feature. Additionally, it seems that this change has not yet taken effect in India, as headlines cannot be seen on article links shared by the Gadgets 360 account on X. Only the website name appears on the bottom right side of the image in the post.

Elon Musk, the billionaire owner of X, was directly responsible for the removal of headlines from shared links. He claimed that this decision would greatly enhance the platform’s aesthetics. However, this change led to confusion among users, as posts with links no longer provided any information about the content they were clicking on. Previously, news links appeared as “cards” on the timeline, displaying an image, URL address, and a short headline.

The elimination of headlines on X’s link previews had a significant impact on news publications. They were forced to adjust the way they presented their stories on the platform, as only the lead image from an article was displayed in the link preview. This change disrupted the traditional format of news sharing on X and required publications to find alternative methods to engage users and provide context for their articles.

X’s decision to bring back headlines on link previews appears to be a response to user feedback and the need for greater clarity in shared content. However, the placement of headlines in a small font at the bottom left of the preview image may still cause readability issues. While the return of headlines is a positive step towards improving user experience, it remains to be seen how this change will be implemented globally and whether it will address the concerns raised by users and news publications alike.

In its continuous effort to introduce new features, X has recently rolled out Grok, an AI chatbot developed by Musk’s AI firm xAI. However, this feature is currently only available to X Premium+ Subscribers on Web, iOS, and Android platforms. As X continues to evolve under Musk’s leadership, it is likely that we will see more changes and updates in the future.

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