A dead simple way to fix the X (Twitter) showing links as images

Just paste the link twice. One is turned into an image with a small caption on the bottom left, but the other one stays as a visible and clickable link.

How the X (Twitter) displays shared links – the problem

▸ For a long time, if you shared a link on Twitter, it was shown together with a headline and an excerpt. Users knew they could click on the shared link widget to go to the original article.

▸ It has changed at the beginning of October 2023, after Elon Musk said it would “improve the esthetics”.

▸ Since that day, shared links are shown as horizontal images with a tiny caption in the bottom-left corner with the name of the domain. Sometimes, the caption is hardly visible (see the example below).

▸ The change applies not only to links shared after the decision, but all previously shared links as well.

▸ The change confused many users, who believed they were seeing an image post with no link. It surely led to a smaller outgoing traffic – and maybe this was the real intention.

▸ Ironically, the link-as-image problem applies only to posts with large images. If your blog post includes a small image or no image at all, it will show up on the X (Twitter) the same way as before.

How to fix the way the shared link is displayed on the X (Twitter)

Have you noticed a decrease in traffic from the X (Twitter) recently? It may be a result of the new way the links are displayed.

Users see the image with a tiny caption. Some may don’t know they can click on it to be redirected to your blog. Others may assume they will just enlarge the picture.

Here is an easy trick to fix the confusion: when composing a post, just paste the link to your article twice. This way, you will be able to display the actual link, as only one of them is turned into a plain image.

This way, the post will look the same as an image tweet with an added link – something Twitter users are familiar with, as it was there long before Elon Musk.

The most important thing is that users will actually see the structure of the url: the domain and the date, if that’s a part of the permalink.

You can also use this little trick when setting up an automation. Let’s say you want to use IFTTT to post links from the RSS feed of your blog. In the applet, just add EntryUrl ingredient twice.

If the X (Twitter) is causing more and more trouble, maybe it’s the right time to try other social networks. I have just moved to Mastodon, and I’m finally breathing!

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