X's New Strategy: No More Headlines in Link Previews
In the ever-evolving world of social media, X is making headlines by removing them from their link previews.
This move is part of a larger strategy by Elon Musk, who advocates for users to post long-form content directly on the platform. The aim is to have users spend more time on the forum, thereby improving engagement and potentially increasing advertising revenue.
A Shift in Social Media Strategy
X, previously known as Twitter, has begun eliminating headlines from link cards on their iOS app and web version. Users will now see only an image with the domain name of the link, subtly placed at the bottom left. The change is subtle but significant, representing a shift in X's content strategy.
Elon Musk, the driving force behind this change, wants users to create and share long-form content directly on X. In his view, this strategy will keep users on the platform for more extended, thus improving user engagement. Musk's statement on this topic is quite revealing. He said, "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."
The Impact on News Sites and User Engagement
Recent data from SimilarWeb reported by Aios suggests a significant drop in traffic for news sites from sources like Facebook, and X. Musk's response to this data was relatively straightforward. He believes that X's algorithm is designed to optimize time on the platform; hence, links get less attention. This shift in strategy aligns with Musk's statement in August about stripping headlines from link previews to "greatly improve the aesthetics."
Moving Towards AI and Content Discovery
X is not the only social media platform rethinking its approach towards news and headlines. Artifact, created by Instagram co-founders, strives to become a discovery platform. It encourages users to post links from across the web and has been using AI to rewrite headlines of articles that users consider click baits.
User Engagement and Revenue Impact
Despite the controversial move, X continues to see high levels of user engagement. Musk said X users created 100 to 200 million posts daily in September. More recently, Linda Yaccarino, the CEO of the media company, stated at a conference that users are now posting 500 million daily posts. However, X's revenue has reportedly declined yearly by at least 55% since Musk took over. The challenge for the company now lies in retaining advertisers on the platform.
In recent interviews, Yaccarino mentioned that advertisers are returning to the platform and predicted the company would turn profitable next year. Only time will tell whether Musk's strategy of pushing for long-form content and minimizing link previews will ultimately pay off.