Twitter is auto-expanding link content — at least as a test.
The changes, visible today for at least some users, show content previews automatically for links to outside sites. In other words, links shared on Twitter this way look a lot more like links shared on Facebook.
These auto-expanded previews won't show up for all links, they'll display for publishers who set up Twitter's summary cards.
If Twitter rolls auto-expanded link previews out platform-wide, it will be yet another step in the service's long-in-the-works transition from a text-focused platform to a more visual one. In 2013, Twitter began auto-expanding images, and just recently introduced autoplay video.
The likely reason behind the company's transition to a more visual layout? Money. Advertisers are willing to pay more to show image and video content to consumers, and the engagement numbers are generally higher.
The drawback to doing this is each glance at the timeline nets less useful information.
Twitter declined to comment.
Alex Kantrowitz is a senior technology reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in San Francisco. He reports on social and communications.
Contact Alex Kantrowitz at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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