The big changes at X, formerly known as Twitter, just keep coming this week.
Users are already trying to adjust to a now-very-different-looking platform after Elon Musk renamed Twitter X and swapped out the bird logo for the 24th letter of the alphabet. Now, users will have to be more vigilant when it comes to spotting paid advertisements.
It appears that late Thursday evening, Musk’s company started to roll out a new format for labeling ads. Many users who’ve seen them are pointing out how the new label obscures the fact that the post is an advertisement.
This is how Promoted tweets were previously labeled on the platform.
Credit: Mashable screenshot
Previously, paid Twitter ads, or promoted tweets as they were called, were displayed with a label marking the post as “Promoted.” The label appeared at the bottom of the post, right under the interaction buttons, such as reply and retweet. A box with an arrow pointing towards the word “Promoted” was also affixed to the paid post.
This is how the new X ad label looks.
Credit: Mashable Screenshot
Now, paid Twitter advertisements simply appear with the label “Ad” and it’s been moved to the upper right hand corner of a post, alongside the kebab menu also known as the three dots button.
Mashable has reviewed promoted tweets with the new ad labeling, and it does appear to make the paid advertisement disclosure less obvious.
For one, the boxed arrow icon, which no longer appears as part of the label, provided a visual marking which let users know they were viewing a paid ad. The longer word “Promoted” also stood out much more than the two-letter “Ad” label.
There’s arguably a learning curve here. Users are used to the location of the old “Promoted” label, prominently featured beside regularly used platform features like “reply” and “retweet.” But the kebab menu in the upper right corner of the post, where the new label now resides, is just not as regularly used, so one’s attention tends not to go there. Another potential issue is that right-handed users on mobile devices can easily and unintentionally obscure the ad label, as it’s right where one’s thumb would be while scrolling.
It’s possible that the platform is just trying out the new format. Musk has a habit of going live with undercooked ideas, and has at times reversed course, seemingly because of user blowback.
Altogether, though, the new labeling just makes these paid advertisements look more like organic tweets and that’s not good for X’s users.