Social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, is experimenting with a new feature that hides the headlines of news articles shared on the platform.
The feature, which is currently being tested with a small group of users, aims to improve the aesthetics and readability of tweets that contain links to news sources.
According to X, the feature will allow users to focus on the tweet text and the image preview of the news article, rather than the headline, which may be misleading or sensationalized.
This is coming from me directly. Will greatly improve the esthetics.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 22, 2023
Users who want to see the headline can tap on the link or the image preview to open the news article in a browser or in-app.
Twitter said the feature is part of its efforts to improve the quality of information and conversations on the platform.
The feature has received mixed reactions from users, some of whom praised it for reducing clickbait and clutter, while others criticized it for hiding important information and context.
Facebook’s importance as a source of news declining
Subsequently, Meta reduced its investment in news content given to publishers for including their articles on the News tab. According to Meta, the format is underutilized.
Currently, less than 3% of what people around the world see in Facebook’s Feeds are posts with links to news articles. And as we said earlier this year (2023), as a business it doesn’t make sense to over-invest in areas that don’t align with user preferences,” a Meta spokesperson had told Axios.
SCOOP: Meta/Facebook is shuttering its Bulletin newsletter subscription service. It plans to wind it down by early next year. I'm told all writers will be paid out their full contracts. Statement from Meta: pic.twitter.com/qEgpnpS6tc
— Katie Robertson (@katie_robertson) October 4, 2022
According to Reuters Institute 2023 Digital News Report, Facebook is becoming significantly less important as a source of news with only 28% of people surveyed having accessed news through the platform in 2023, compared to 42% in 2016.
The findings figures were based on interviews with some 94,000 people across 46 countries, conducted for the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, part of Britain’s University of Oxford.
“Facebook remains one of the most-used social networks overall, but its influence on journalism is declining as it shifts its focus away from news,” Lead author Nic Newman said.