LONDON: X owner Elon Musk and the social media platform’s CEO, Linda Yaccarino, told staff during a recent company-wide meeting that they plan to launch a news-distribution service provisionally called XWire.
The aim for the new service is to rival platforms such as Cision’s PR Newswire, a source familiar with the matter told Bloomberg.
During the meeting on Oct. 26, which was organized to mark the first anniversary of Musk’s takeover of Twitter, which he subsequently renamed X, company executives also said they view platforms like YouTube and LinkedIn as future competitors, suggesting that X plans also to expand into the fields of video streaming and recruitment.
The company is already working on the latter, with a beta version of a service launched through the account @XHiring in July. Verified organizations can use it to “feature critical roles on their profile and organically reach millions of relevant candidates,” according to the description of the account.
Musk, a self-proclaimed free-speech absolutist, has a murky history on the topic since taking control of the platform. Several journalists have alleged that their X accounts were suspended due to the nature of their reporting. And in September, Musk threatened to sue the Anti-Defamation League for defamation, alleging that the nonprofit organization’s statements about rising levels of hate speech on the platform were hurting advertising revenue.
Musk also recently changed the way in which links to news stories appear on X, by preventing the headlines being displayed in previews of third-party links. Now, only the domain the link points to and the main image from the destination page are displayed in tweets, thereby rendering them devoid of any context.
In August, he suggested this would “greatly improve the esthetics (sic),” and this month he confirmed that the platform’s “algorithm tries to optimize time spent on X, so links don’t get as much attention, because there is less time spent if people click away.”
This is coming from me directly. Will greatly improve the esthetics.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 22, 2023
Our algorithm tries to optimize time spent on X, so links don’t get as much attention, because there is less time spent if people click away.
Best thing is to post content in long form on this platform.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 3, 2023
Musk seems keen to turn X into an “open-source news” platform where, he said, “anything relevant in legacy media is reposted.”
Anything relevant in legacy media is reposted here anyway, so same for me
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 20, 2023
He has also called for more citizen journalists to post on X, and in August invited journalists to publish directly on the platform to earn higher incomes.
Citizen journalism is the path to better future!
I strongly encourage people around the world to post news about events as they’re happening, in both text & video. https://t.co/c8PxqinKAm
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 4, 2023
If you’re a journalist who wants more freedom to write and a higher income, then publish directly on this platform!
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 21, 2023