X, the social media site formerly known as Twitter, is testing stripping headlines from articles shared on the site. The move was initially reported by Fortune, before X owner Elon Musk confirmed it directly. Posts would only include the lead image and the URL, unless the person or publisher posting the link adds their own text, per materials the outlet viewed.
The image would still serve as a link to the article, but there's no word on a timetable to roll it out or confirmation that it will ship at all. “It’s something Elon wants,” a source is quoted as saying, “They were running it by advertisers, who didn’t like it, but it’s happening.”
According to Musk, the change “will greatly improve the esthetics” of the service. Other explanations for the change reported by Fortune include reducing the height of individual posts so users’ timelines display more content, and that Musk apparently “believes the change will help curb clickbait.”
X did not immediately respond to a request for comment beyond an automated response from its press contact address.
Update August 22nd, 3:37AM ET: Updated with Elon Musk’s confirmation.