Right now, links to news articles are displayed as “Cards,” consisting of an image, a link, a headline, and a summary of the article, which doesn’t count against X’s post character limits. If Musk goes through with his idea, links to news articles would be stripped from all text, leaving just the lead image and the URL as the links to the actual article.
Of course, the user sharing the news article will be able to fill in the blanks themselves in the tweet, though it’s definitely not certain that they will do so.
Musk’s reasoning for the move, the publisher reports, is to reduce the size of news posts and thus display more posts in users’ timelines (Musk himself said it will “greatly improve the esthetics”). Musk has also recently invited journalists to publish “directly” on X (which they can theoretically get paid for through Twitter’s ad revenue sharing model, though they need to be paying Twitter Blue subscribers to be eligible for that).
The news comes shortly after reports that X has begun throttling traffic to competing sites and certain news outlets, including Facebook, Instagram, Bluesky, and The New York Times.
Fortune says that Musk has run this new idea with advertisers, who “didn’t like it,” but he reportedly plans to go through with the plan anyway.
In fact, the plan appears to already be in motion; in a recent update, X’s mobile version introduced overlaying URL links over images on news articles. Likewise, the accompanying short description of articles is not visible anymore, though the headlines still remain in place.