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X Restores Headlines to News Links Following User Complaints

Elon Musk’s decision to remove headlines from X’s news links was apparently short-lived.

The multibillionaire social media mogul announced in October that the platform — formerly known as Twitter — would no longer include headlines with links to news stories.

But as Bloomberg News reported Tuesday (Jan. 2), users have this week begun noticing that headlines have been restored. The report noted that critics of the original change had pointed out that taking away headlines left users confused about what news articles were being shared.

The news follows a tumultuous year for the platform, which has hemorrhaged advertisers in the wake of several controversial moves by Musk.

Last month saw the news that X was facing a slump in advertising revenue, with the company generating about $600 million in ad revenue per quarter this year, down from the over $1 billion per quarter it earned in 2022. The company had initially aimed for $3 billion in ad and subscription revenue for the year.

Ad sales make up about 70% to 75% of X’s revenue, but those advertisers have fled due to concerns about the platform’s content moderation practices under Musk. The battle to win those companies back became much tougher after Musk endorsed an antisemitic conspiracy theory.

Since then, advertisers that include Walmart, Disney and Apple have left X. Musk, during an interview in November, told those companies to “go f–k” themselves.

Meanwhile, PYMNTS last month explored X’s attempts to move further into the money movement space after the company received three new money transmitter licenses from Kansas, South Dakota and Wyoming.

“As of now, the tally of states where the company has money transmission permission stands at a dozen,” that report said. 

“All of the licenses were granted this year, indicating that X’s efforts are quickening. As reported, the registrations are tied to a business named X Payments, which is part of the company broadening its efforts to let users send and receive money across the platform.”

Musk has said he expects X to become a payments super app by the end of this year.

“When I say payments, I actually mean someone’s entire financial life,” he told employees during a company call in October. “If it involves money, it’ll be on our platform. Money or securities or whatever. So, it’s not just like sending $20 to my friend. I’m talking about, like, you won’t need a bank account.”