Elon Musk, the owner of X (formerly Twitter), has announced another change to headline displays on the popular social media platform. Well, less a change and more a reversion. The network will reintroduce headlines in preview cards but in a slightly different format.

Musk’s decision is a U-turn from last month when article titles were removed to”improved esthetics“.

How do headlines on Twitter/X display?

Unless the user writes the headline into the caption of the tweet/post they don’t appear when a link is posted. Alternatively, users can click or tap on the URL card to access the full article.

In response, publishers of all sizes adapted by crafting their own headlines on images, posting the link separately, or including the headline in the generated preview card image.

In a post on X, the tech mogul announced the update will overlay the title in the upper portion of the image within a URL Card.  However, Musk did not provide a specific timeline for the rollout or offer an example of how it may appear. Nor did he state why the change was taking place.

Legal and advertising challenges

Elon Musk is facing a challenging period with major advertisers. Apple, Disney and other blue chip companies paused spending due to allegations of the billionaire’s endorsement of antisemitic remarks. Accusations he vehemently denies.

On Monday, Musk took legal action against Media Matters over defamation claims. The move came after the left-leaning news watchdog published an article claiming ads from prominent brands like IBM and Apple were appearing next to hateful content.

The lawsuit from X accuses Media Matters of distorting the likelihood of ads appearing next to extremist content on X. It alleges the group’s testing methodology doesn’t represent how real users experience the site.

Featured image: Elon Musk from Flickr under Creative Commons 2.0 license. 

Sam Shedden

Managing Editor

Sam Shedden is an experienced journalist and editor with over a decade of experience in online news. A seasoned technology writer and content strategist, he has contributed to many UK regional and national publications including The Scotsman, inews.co.uk, nationalworld.com, Edinburgh Evening News, The Daily Record and more. Sam has written and edited content for audiences whose interests include media, technology, AI, start-ups and innovation. He's also produced and set-up email newsletters in numerous specialist topics in previous roles and his work on newsletters saw him nominated as Newsletter Hero Of The Year at the UK's Publisher Newsletter Awards 2023. He has worked in roles focused on growing reader revenue and loyalty at one of the UK's leading news publishers, National World plc growing quality, profitable news sites. He has given industry talks and presentations sharing his experience growing digital audiences to international audiences. Now a Managing Editor at Readwrite.com, Sam is involved in all aspects of the site's news operation including commissioning, fact-checking, editing and content planning.