X Launches Long-Form Articles Option for Premium+ Subscribers

X is taking the next steps to advance beyond its short-form content roots, with the introduction of X Articles, which is essentially a blogging platform built into the X system.

X Articles

As you can see in this example, X Articles includes all the basic elements of a blogging tool, including a title and header image for your post, and various in-stream formatting options (like bold, italics, numbers lists, links, etc.)

Users will also be able to embed images and videos into their Articles, providing more ways to differentiate Articles from long-form posts in the app.

Which have also had several upgrades to bring them up to speed with other blogging tools. But Articles is a more dedicated option for long-form content.

X Articles will appear on your profile in a new Articles tab, as well as in your followers’ timeline, just like regular X posts.

“Articles will also be easily distinguishable thanks to a unique icon and layout, ensuring that your long-form content stands out.”

X is hoping that the new format will see more publishers and creators share their content direct to the app, which is what X owner Elon Musk really wants.

Musk, of course, is pushing to convert the platform formerly known as Twitter into his vision for an “everything app”, which would enable all kinds of different functions and processes in-stream.

Long-form content, in particular, has been a key focus for Musk’s “freedom of speech” push, with Musk repeatedly calling on “citizen journalists” to share their views on X, in order to challenge the mainstream media.

Whom Musk is convinced is biased, often against him, and as such, Elon’s hope is that by giving more people more ways to share their thoughts in the app, that will help to establish a new information ecosystem, free of outside interference.

Though that’s not really true, given that Musk has also penalized or suspended various publications and journalists that he disagrees with. But that bias, at least from Elon’s perspective, is actually more balanced, because he’s the one who controls it. So all good, I guess.

So, will this see more people posting long-form content in the app?

Well, it is limited to Premium+ and Verified Organizations subscribers, so not everybody can use it, only those that are willing to pay at least $16 per month for the app.

Which is mostly Elon superfans, and for that cohort of users, it could be a valuable way to document their love of Tesla, or SpaceX, or just to post long-form Elon Musk fan fiction.

Yeah, it’s super weird, but for that group, I can see X articles being of value. But I don’t see many publications or journalists actually paying to use the option.

Maybe, for media organizations that are already paying for Verification for Organizations, they could try it out, and X will likely also look to provide some sort of monetization potential in future. That’ll draw some interest, but it remains to be seen whether users actually want to consume long-form content in the app.

Because that’s a significant behavioral shift, though Elon Musk did report back in September that longer posts in the app were seeing 3 billion views per day.

I mean, the specifics here are relevant. Are longer posts actually seeing 3 billion views, or are people just tapping on the “More” CTA that many times? Is X measuring time spent reading?

It’s harder to measure because you need to factor in consumption time within the app, as opposed to time spent after tapping a link. But basically, as with all of the metrics that X shares, it doesn’t really, definitively say that this is reflective of popularity and/or engagement.

But maybe it is, and maybe X Articles will also draw interest.

It’s hard to see why publishers would post direct in the app, but over time, X could develop more incentives on this front.

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