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X launches long form articles for some users

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Elon Musk’s X continues its battle with legacy media and traditional websites with its launch of long form articles, which vastly expands the possibilities open to writers on the platform.

Announced in a post on X yesterday (March 7), the feature expands the previous character limit from 25,000 by around four times, up to 100,000 characters. It also allows for media embedding, including images, videos, and of course, X posts.

However, currently, the editor is basic. While it can do basic text formatting like bold, italic, strikethrough, and bullet point and numbered lists, it lacks a markdown reader and can’t handle code blocks, something X users have already been requesting.

I’ve been using articles, and they’re fantastic! It would be beneficial to incorporate something like markdown for easier editing. One significant challenge I’ve encountered is the inability to include code snippets in my articles. I’ve had to resort to taking screenshots of my…

— storm (@snowcra5h) March 8, 2024

When a user has written an article, it will appear in a new tab on their profile alongside their replies and media tabs. When reading an article, users have the option to full-screen the page for a cleaner, distraction-free interface, which is a nice addition.

Articles behave like normal X posts, with the ability to reply, repost, and like any article post.

Who can write articles on X/Twitter?

‘Articles’ is a feature that is only available to Premium + subscribers on X. While a Premium account costs around $130 annually, Premium + is double that at around $260 – more if you pay monthly instead of annually.

Presently, it is unclear what the uptake will be for this feature. Under Elon Musk, X has become increasingly hostile to journalists and people who create content off-platform. It notably suppresses Substack links, and removed headlines from links to external content, minimizing the capacity for creators to reach their audiences.

Musk has previously discussed his plans to take on live streaming platform Twitch, owned by Amazon, and bring monetized live streaming directly to X. X’s CEO Linda Yaccarino also encouraged Rockstar Games to upload the trailer for Grand Theft Auto 6 directly to X rather than sharing a YouTube link. They did so, but more than 24 hours after sharing the link to the YouTube video.

His goal seems to be to minimize the reasons users would ever leave the site by gradually adding features that have been siloed across different services and rolling them into one huge X ecosystem that charges a fee and keeps users on-site, endlessly scrolling through a variety of content types. Whether he will be successful remains to be seen.

Featured image credit: MatiMango via Pexels

The post X launches long form articles for some users appeared first on ReadWrite.

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