Twitter quietly makes a HUGE change to how you click on links

Twitter quietly makes a HUGE change to the platform – and users are absolutely baffled by the update

  • The changes make it more difficult to spot external links in X’s feed
  • Some speculate this might form part of a push to keep users on the site longer 

Elon Musk has made yet another big change to X (formerly Twitter), and users are already furious with the decision.

X users have been left baffled by the latest in a series of changes to the popular social media platform, complaining that the site is now more confusing and less user friendly. 

Links posted to the platform no longer clearly display headlines and descriptions beneath the preview image. 

This means there is no clear information about where the link might lead.

This has led many to complain that it is no longer clear which posts are external links, and which are simply pictures.

Links posted to the platform no longer clearly display headlines and descriptions beneath the preview image 

Before the update, links posted to X displayed their headline and preview text in a box below the main picture, however this function has now vanished

Elon Musk, who took over Twitter in October 2022, claimed full responsibility for the changes to link previews claiming it would improve the sites ‘esthetics’

Read More: Elon Musk announces a MAJOR change for Twitter that will affect every user – here’s what you need to know  

Before the update, links posted to X displayed their headline and preview text in a box below the main picture.

Links now appear in the same format as images, with the only distinguishing feature being the link address in small white text in the bottom left-hand corner. 

X users have been quick to criticise the change for making pictures and links appear to similar in their feeds.

‘I can’t tell between an image and a link to an article anymore. why did this change,’ one user wrote. 

Another said that the change ‘really ruins the UX [user experience]’ adding that links now ‘looks like someone just shared an image’.

Meanwhile, one exasperated X user asked: ‘How long till twitter changes the image article link s***? Like three days?’

This change has been on the horizon since late August when Musk confirmed the plans. 

This change has been on the horizon since late August, when Elon Musk confirmed the plans 

X users are furious with the decision to change how links were previewed, complaining that the change makes pictures and links to similar

At the time, he wrote: ‘This is coming from me directly. Will greatly improve the esthetics.’

Beyond Musk’s claim to improve site esthetics there are a number of theories circulating as to why this change may have come. 

One theory is that the change is designed to keep users on the site for longer, making it more difficult to jump through links to other platforms. 

Since Musk took over Twitter in October 2022, Twitter’s ad revenue has plummeted. 

And some users have speculated that the change will make it harder to leave X through external links, boosting time spent on the site and potentially increasing ad revenue.

One user suggested the change was to ‘keep people from clicking and thus leaving Twitter’

Musk himself has provided some credibility to this theory, writing in a post that X’s algorithm already gave visibility to links because external links reduced time spent on the platform.

Another possible reason is that by removing the preview text, links become smaller and take up less space on the screen. 

This allows more posts to be visible at a single time, potentially creating a more engaging experience for users. 

This isn’t the first time Musk’s changes to the site have sparked controversy, with his time as the head of X marred by a series of dramatic changes.

In August these changes caused an uproar as X announced plans to axe the ‘block’ feature, removing users ability to avoid harassment and spam from other users. 

This also comes after significant changes to moderation with the introduction of the community notes feature.

Timeline of Elon Musk’s eventful time at Twitter so far 

October 27: Musk is officially made the new owner of Twitter, and tweets ‘the bird is freed’.

November 1: Musk confirms plans to change the system of ‘Blue Tick’ verification on Twitter, for a reduced subscription fee of $8 a month.

November 4: Musk lays off half of Twitter’s workforce as an alleged cost-cutting measure, claiming he had ‘no choice’. 

November 9: Musk launches the ‘Twitter Blue’ subscription service which verifies accounts for a monthly fee.

November 11: The Twitter Blue service is paused due to accounts purchasing verification and using it to impersonate brands and public figures.

November 12: Musk fires 80 per cent of Twitter contractors without warning.

November 15: Musk fires employees that posted negatively about him on the business messaging app Slack. The lawsuit between Musk and Twitter is dismissed.

November 16:  Twitter staff are told they need to sign a pledge to be able to stay on in their roles where they would be ‘working long hours at high intensity’ or receive three months of severance pay, resulting in a mass exodus.

November 18: A news-ticker was projected onto Twitter HQ in San Francisco dubbing Musk as a ‘space Karen’, ‘mediocre manchild’ and ‘bankruptcy baby’.

November 23: A Twitter user reported that 5.4 million phone numbers and email addresses leaked on the dark web, before his account was suspended. 

November 26: Financial Times revealed that 50 of the platform’s top 100 advertisers have paused their ads.

November 29:  Platformer reported that Twitter is in the process of reinstating around 62,000 banned accounts that each have more than 10,000 followers.

December 12: Twitter Blue is re-launched with new Blue Tick reviewing process.

January 11: Twitter starts automatically redirecting users to the ‘For You’ tab – its algorithmic feed of tweets – every time they open the app. 

February 8: Twitter expands the character limit to 4,000 for Twitter Blue subscribers in the US. Shortly after, the site encounters technical difficulties.

February 12: Musk orders staff to revamp Twitter’s tweet promotion algorithm after his Super Bowl tweet didn’t get enough impressions.  

February 15: Twitter announces it will remove SMS two-factor authentication (2FA) from the free version of Twitter – a decision a security expert labelled ‘absurd’ that will lead to ‘so many accounts hacked’.

February 25: Twitter reveals a fresh round of layoffs that brought its workforce down to under 2,000 – a sharp fall from the 7,500 employed when the billionaire first took over in October.

March 28: Musk announces it will stop people from voting in Twitter polls or having their tweets appear in the For You tab if they do not pay for Twitter Blue. 

April 11: Musk gives an interview with the BBC at Twitter’s San Francisco HQ where he says he’s been sleeping on the floor of the company’s offices. Musk also accused the interviewer of lying because he couldn’t back up accusations about hate speech on the platform. 

June 21: Musk says he is ‘up for a cage match’ fight with rival tech CEO Mark Zuckerberg.  

July 1: Musk announces limits on how many tweets users can see per day – 600 for people who aren’t signed up for Twitter Blue, and 6,000 for Twitter Blue subscribers. 

July 23: Twitter is officially rebranded to, with the classic blue bird logo replaced with an X

August  18: Musk announces that ‘block’ will be deleted as a feature except for within direct messaging

August 31: Musk reveals that audio and video calls will soon be introduced on the platform 

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