X users reported Wednesday night that news outlets and other media companies posting stories on the 'free speech' platform could no longer see links. This is a major overhaul to X and an aesthetically pleasing change for users who want to see cleaner feeds.
In late August, Elon Musk first confirmed to Fortune that X was planning to "greatly improve the esthetics" of the platform.
The change means that anyone sharing a link on X—from individual users to publishers—would need to manually add their own text alongside the links they share on the service; otherwise the tweet will display only an image with no context other than an overlay of the URL.
While clicking on the image will still lead to the full article on the publisher's website, the change could have major implications for publishers who rely on social media to drive traffic to their sites as well as for advertisers. -Fortune
Axios' Sara Fischer pointed out, "News outlets and other companies have long posted links to social media sites to drive traffic to their own websites in order to monetize user attention themselves."
Fischer continued: "Musk insists "links don't get as much attention," but some journalists and other X users have noted it could cause confusion and decrease attention to links or make posts without headlines look like memes."
Introducing the cleaner feed comes as the Anti-Defamation League folds after Musk threatened to file a defamation lawsuit against them for alleging he failed to clamp down on hate speech on the platform.
Now, it'll be more challenging for other members of the censorship industrial complex to argue against advertising on X, since it's good enough for ADL, which might hint ad revs are about to surge.