Category Archives: Twitter

Elon Musk Strips Headlines Off News Links On Twitter In Overhaul

X, the social media platform previously known as Twitter, is planning a major change in how news articles appear on the service, stripping out the headline and other text so that tweets with links display only an article’s lead image, according to material viewed by Fortune.

Roughly four hours after the publication of this article, Elon Musk confirmed these plans, posting that “this is coming from me directly,” and it “will greatly improve the esthetics.”

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 publisher who rely on social media to drive traffic to their sites as well as for advertisers, Fortune reported.

According to a source with knowledge of the matter, the change is indeed being pushed directly by X owner Elon Musk. The primary objective appears to be to reduce the height of tweets, thus allowing more posts to fit within the portion of the timeline that appears on the screen. Musk also believes the change will help curb clickbait, the source said.

TechCrunch reported that currently, a Twitter card for a news article or a blog post shows the headline and summary text (just on the web) along with the header image of the preview card of a post. However, if the proposed change comes through, X will only show the image with a link in a post. That means if a publication or a blog doesn’t post any accompanying text with the link, users will only see the link and the image for that article.

According to TechCrunch, Musk also recently said that journalists vying for more freedom and higher income should directly publish on X. Elon Musk tweeted: “If you’re a journalist who wants more freedom to write and a higher income, then publish directly on this platform!”

The Guardian reported the move may be an attempt to drive people to sign up for X’s premium service. With the shortened links, users could be inclined to include more text along with their posts. The premium service allows a single post of up to 25,000 characters.

It is not immediately clear how it will impact advertisers on the platform, which Musk claimed in July had 540 million monthly users.

With the changes, Musk is pitching X as a more relevant platform for content creators. Premium subscribers can now post longer videos, their posts are shown higher up and they also receive a cut of ad sales.

According to The Guardian, Musk has made a number of abrupt changes to Twitter since he took over as owner in October 2022, many of which have negatively impacted the news media that make up a large portion of its user base. The billionaire has suspended journalists from the platform, removed verification from many media figures, and attempted to launch his own journalistic endeavors with a project called the Twitter Files, in which he had reporters publish “investigations” directly on the platform.

It seems to me that Elon Musk doesn’t really want to support Twitter very much at all. He appears to be doing his best to push people away from using Twitter by making bad decisions that will likely cause harm to many marginalized users.

A Glitch Temporarily Wiped Out X Images And Links

Since Friday, users of X, formerly Twitter, started noticing that many images posted on the platform between 2011 and 2014 were no longer accessible, according to various media reports, Insider reported.

The glitch resulted in some of the most viral moments in internet history becoming inaccessible. It also seemed to affect links posted in the same three-year period – some of which have become shortened links.

The most famous casualty was Ellen’s star-studded selfie at the Oscars, posted in 2014. The post racked up over 2.8 million reshares and 2 million likes since being posted in March 2014.

According to Insider, on Saturday, users posted about losing access to other pieces of internet history, from pictures about the Arab Spring to posts by the K-Pop group BTS.

At the time of writing, access to images and links from 2011 to 2014 – including Ellen’s selfie – continued to be inconsistently available, per Insider’s review.

Insider also reported that X first introduced image-sharing to its platform in June 2011. It remains unclear why the glitch occurred, and neither Musk nor X acknowledged the glitch since the outages began.

However, these outages come amid increasing instability on the platform. Widespread outages have been on the rise since Musk made massive job cuts to the company in October last year, Insider reported in March.

One of the most high-profile outages occurred in February when the platform became inaccessible because an employee accidentally deleted data on a key function. The team responsible for it had already left the company.

The Verge reported that the @Support account at X, the company formerly known as Twitter until Elon Musk rebranded it, says, “Over the weekend we had a bug that prevented us from displaying images from before 2014. No images or data were lost. We fixed the bug, and the issue will be fully resolved in the coming days.”

There are no details mentioned in the post about what the bug was, when it started happening, or why it will take an unspecified amount of time to resolve. In looking up the problem, we learned that changes by Twitter in 2016 used metadata on tweets posted from December 2014 going forward to fill in additional data from linked webpages and allow attachments that didn’t eat up a tweet’s character count, and it was only earlier posts that were hit by the bug.

To me, it seems like X is having unexpected (and strange) problems nearly every day. I suppose this is what happens when the person in charge of a major social media company decides that the first move is to fire the vast majority of its workers. Things typically do not run smoothly after that.

Twitter Deletes All User Photos And Links From 2011 – 2014

Twitter, the social media company officially known as X, appears to have deleted all images from the website that were posted between 2011 and 2014. Links that used Twitter’s native shortening service are also broken, Forbes reported.

According to Forbes, its not immediately clear if this was an intentional act or an error, but whatever’s happening is causing concern among users who’ve been on the site for over a decade.

It appears that Twitter’s link-shortening domain – the new URL that Twitter generates so it can track user activity – is the likely culprit behind why images no longer display and links no longer work.

Twitter launched in 2006 but didn’t support native image uploads until the summer of 2011. Several image-hosting services sprung up to support Twitter, like TwitPic, but that service shut down in 2014 and many images from those early days are lost. But now it seems images that were posted to Twitter directly from 2011 to 2014 could be in danger as well, since they’re no longer loading on the site, Forbes reported.

PCMag reported that Twitter appears to have deleted all of the images that were uploaded to the site between 2011 and 2014. The issues was discovered Saturday by Twitter user Tom Coats.

According to PCMag, along with the loss if images, links that were created during the same time period using Twitter’s link shorter also no longer work. Coats’ tweet about the issue has since had context added to it saying that images have disappeared and links are broken, but the data is still saved on Twitter’s servers.

One of the tweets impacted is Ellen DeGeneres’ famous Oscars selfie, which generated 2.8 million retweets and currently holds the title as the most retweeted post of all time. That particular image was restored on Saturday afternoon along with a tweet of Barack Obama hugging the First Lady after his reelection in 2012.

The Verge reported that X, which was formerly known as Twitter until its recent rebranding, is having a problem displaying old posts that came with images attached or any hyperlinks converged through Twitter’s built-in URL shortener. It’s unclear when the problem started, but it was highlighted on Saturday afternoon in a post by Tom Coats, and a Brazilian vTuber, @DaniloTakagi, had pointed out a couple of days earlier.

As it is, it appears to affect tweets published prior to December 2014. No videos are affected (Twitter only added native image support in 2011 and built-in videos in 2016), but links to YouTube, for example, are now just text with a URL that doesn’t work.

Personally, I think it’s sad that Elon Musk either intentionally, or accidentally, deleted a huge chunk of Twitter’s past content. He needs to be more careful about the decisions he makes, and should think hard before implementing something on a whim.

Musk Says X’s ‘Block’ Feature Is Going Away

Part of the X roadmap? Off-handed reply? Simple attempt to get a rise out of people? Time will tell, TechCrunch reported. The one thing we can say for sure is that X’s owner responded to a post on the platform (on August 18) foreshadowing the potential removal of the block feature.

“Block is going to be deleted as a ‘feature’, except for DMs,” Elon Musk wrote. “Makes no sense.” The post was a response to a Tesla fan account who asked whether there was any reason to use block instead of mute.

Regarded as a safety feature by many users, the suggestion that block could be going the way of the service’s old verification system was greeted with backlash from concerned users, TechCrunch reported.

“Twitter gives people a variety of tools to control their experience, including blocking,” the company writes on its help page. “Blocking helps people in restricting specific accounts from contacting them, seeing their Tweets, and following them. If you have been blocked by another account on Twitter, you can still block other accounts (including any that have blocked you).”

TechCrunch also reported that while Mute may still remain, the features are not the same. Block restricts fellow users from interacting with, viewing, and following an account. Mute simply hides your posts from their stream. Users are not made aware that they have been muted. Musk adds that the block feature will remain for direct messages.

Blocking has become an essential feature for many users, as they’ve seen an uptick in spam replies on their timeline. Earlier backlash also found some users blocking X Blue/Twitter Premium accounts, as the feature began to prioritize their responses over non-paying users. Many public figures have also relied on the feature as a method of removing harassment from their feed.

CNBC reported the users of X, formerly known as Twitter, will no longer be able to block comments from unwanted followers, according to a post by X owner Elon Musk on Friday, eliminating what’s long been viewed as a key safety feature. Blocking will only be available for direct messages, he said.

CNBC posted a screenshot between @teslaownersSV and @elonmusk, in which Mr. Musk stated that “Block is going to be deleted as a “feature”, except for DMs”.

The response had a “Readers Added Context” added to it: If the ability to block users was to be removed, X would be in violation of the policies of the App Store as well as the Google Play Store. Potentially, this could lead to X being removed from these platforms. There are no such policies for the web-app however.”

According to CNBC, Louis Jones, a longtime media and advertising executive who now works at the Brand Safety Institute, said Musk’s latest plan is very concerning as users could be inundated with spam, threats, and other harmful content.

Musk’s “lax approach to free speech,” is likely to have a “double effect,” making bullying more common on the platform and inhibiting free speech by those users who are targets of bullies and predators, Jones wrote in an email to CNBC. “It’s a downward spiral that cannot be good for the long term success of X.”

Personally, I’ve grown tired of what I see on the X desktop app. It appears that Elon Musk could take away the block feature from the web interface. However, if he tries to do that with the app, it will likely mean his X platform will disappear from the Apple Store and Google Play Store.

Twitter Will Lose Bird Logo In Brand Overhaul

Twitter owner Elon Musk said overnight Sunday that his social media platform will retire its widely recognized blue bird logo, and eventually the Twitter name, as part of his relentless effort to overhaul the company, The Washington Post reported.

Amid a series of tweets asking users whether the brand should change its default color from blue to black or white, Musk added: “Soon we shall bid adieu to the twitter brand and, gradually, all the birds.”

According to The Washington Post, Musk said he would replace the famed bird with an “X’, which would match his early payment processing company and the recently named parent company of Twitter, X Holdings. Musk has spoken repeatedly of his hopes to make Twitter an “everything app” that would include a payment system as well as communications.

Later on Sunday, he tweeted the the interim logo “goes live later today.”

Musk’s announcement caught Twitter employees as well as users by surprise. At midday, the company’s webpage on branding still declared: “Our logo is our most recognizable asset. That’s why we’re so protective of it.”

NPR reported that Musk hinted at the change as early as October of last year when he was days away from officially owning the company. “Buying Twitter is an accelerant to creating X, the everything app,” he said on Twitter.

Musk’s vision for an “everything app”, NPR reported, has been compared to platforms like the ubiquitous WeChat app in China.

According to NPR, for years, the billionaire has been known for having an affinity for the letter X – though he has shared little explanation as to why.

In one of his earliest ventures, Musk called his online bank That name was later dropped when the platform merged with a competitor to become PayPal. “X” is already the name of Tesla’s third electric car model, which debuted in 2015. Musk’s spaceflight company is also widely referred to as SpaceX. And in 2020, Musk and his then-partner, the Canadian musician Grimes, named their youngest son “X Æ A-12.”

Engadget reported that Elon Musk’s recently-announced AI venture is called xAI. And Twitter’s holding company was renamed to X Corp in April. Musk also talked about how X would help Twitter become an “everything app.” Though Musk has offered few specifics on this vision, many believe he’s referencing apps like WeChat, the most popular app in China that people use for a host of everyday activities like payments and shopping, in addition to social networking.

According to Engadget, officially abandoning the Twitter brand could be a risky move for Musk. The company is already facing an advertising exodus that’s resulted in a loss of more than half of the company’s ad revenue. A rebrand could further alienate advertisers.

In my opinion, changing the brand from a blue bird logo to a X will do little other than to temporarily confuse people who maybe haven’t logged into Twitter for a while. What Twitter really needs is more moderators to make the site welcoming to the marginalized people who are still using the service.

NOTE: The X at the top of this blog post is not the official one that Elon Musk will, eventually, reveal.

Twitter Limits Number of Direct Messages For Unverified Users

Twitter announced that it is limiting the number of daily direct messages unverified users can send in an effort its says reduces spam, NBC News reported.

The change went into effect Friday, according to a message on the Help Center. To increase the number of daily messages allowed, the social media company is prodding users to subscribe to Twitter Blue, a subscription service the company launched last year.

@TwitterSupport tweeted: “We’ll soon be implementing some changes in our efforts to reduce spam in Direct Messages. Unverified accounts will have daily limits on the number of DMs they can send. Subscribe today to send more messages:…”

PCMag reported that Twitter did not specify what the daily limit is, but in a support document, the company says it’s imposing the restriction to help the bird site cut down on spam.

Still, setting a cap on direct messages also looks like an attempt to push users into paying for Twitter Blue, which starts at $8 per month and offers several premium features, including the verified blue checkmark. Last week, Twitter’s owner Elon Musk conceded the company continues to bleed cash due to advertising revenue dropping by 50%, PCMag reported.

According to PCMag, some Twitter users are already blasting Twitter for imposing restrictions on direct messages. That’s because it looks like verified users paying for Twitter Blue can still send as many DMs as they want – whether it be legitimate messages or spam.

Engadget reported that Twitter has again made its platform a little less useable for people who choose not to pay for a Blue subscription.

According to Engadget, Elon Musk tweeted this month that Twitter is suffering from an ongoing negative cash flow, because it’s advertising revenue has dropped by 50 percent. Even if money from subscriptions can’t make up for that, it’s still money in the company’s pocket.

The Hill reported that Twitter’s move to limit the number of direct messages a user can send has come under criticism for punishing users that do not pay for Twitter Blue, the site’s premium subscription service. Blue subscribers would not have a limit on direct messages.

According to The Hill, the policy change comes weeks after Twitter announced that non-paying users would have the number of posts they can see per day limited. That change was sparked by technological limitations, Twitter owner Elon Musk said.

In addition, The Hill reported that the Twitter laid off a majority of its staff and has reportedly stopped paying rent at its office spaces. Many advertisers left Twitter after Musk took over the platform and removed the bans of the content creators who were nixed from the platform in previous years.

Personally, I’ve grown really tired of Twitter. I don’t see why Elon Musk thinks that strongly pushing people to buy Twitter Blue will solve all of the company’s financial problems. In my opinion, the choices Mr. Musk has made since he bought Twitter appear to be haphazardly chosen.

Twitter’s Cash Flow Still Negative As Ad Revenue Drops 50%

Twitter’s cash flow remains negative because of a nearly 50% drop in advertising revenue and a heavy debt load, Elon Musk said on Saturday, falling short of his expectation in March that Twitter could reach cash flow positive by June, Reuters reported.

“Need to reach positive cash flow before we have the luxury of anything else,” Musk said in a tweet, replying to suggestions on recapitalization.

According to Reuters, this is the latest sign that the aggressive cost-cutting measures since Musk acquired Twitter in October alone are not enough to get Twitter to cash flow positive, and suggests Twitter’s ad revenue may have not recovered as fast as Musk suggested in an interview in April with the BBC that most advertisers had returned to the site.

CNBC reported that by January, hundreds of advertisers had reduced or halted their ad spending on Twitter in response to Musk making steep staff cuts at the company, and implementing changes to the platform, especially restoring previously banned accounts and changing its approach to content moderation.

In April, Musk told a BBC reporter that “almost all” advertisers had resumed buying ads on Twitter. He also claimed at the time that the company was “roughly breakeven,” and expected to become cash flow positive within the next quarter, CNBC reported.

According to CNBC, his statement about Twitter’s cash flow problems today comes a little over one month since Linda Yaccarino, who previously ran global advertising for Comcast’s NBCUniversal, took on the role of Twitter CEO. NBCUniversal is the parent company of CNBC.

In recent days, Twitter began doling out a share of its ad revenue to select content creators on its platform. Musk’s remarks were made in response to followers who wanted to know why that revenue-sharing program was so limited in scope.

Mint asked “Why are advertisers avoiding Twitter?” According to Mint, Elon Musk added that Twitter is set to post $3 billion in revenue which is a significant drop from the $5.1 billion in 2021. The advertisers turned their faces away from Twitter after it relaxed its approach to content moderation. The advertisers expressed skepticism about their advertisements appearing around inappropriate content.

Engadget reported Elon Musk’s admission that Twitter has negative cash flow comes the same week that Twitter’s ad-revenue program began paying out some creators, including far-right influencers. On Friday, Musk claimed the social network could see “all-time high device user seconds usage” sometime this week. He also previously said almost all the advertisers who had left the platform following his takeover in October had “either come back” or “said they will come back.”

Personally, I know I have seen a bunch of very strange ads on Twitter. Most of them appear to be hoping people will buy things that don’t seem to have much of a use, or are potentially harmful. There is an ad that shows a grill that someone has tossed a plastic-looking mesh bag full of cut vegetables on. The only ads I’ve seen from big name brands are the ones that precede videos from a sports team.