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X changes ad labels making them ‘less noticeable’

X has modified the appearance of ad labels on promoted posts, making them “less noticeable”.

Paid advertisements now feature the word “Ad” in the top right-hand corner of posts, next to the kebab menu – more commonly known as the three dots button.

Previously, the word “Promoted” would appear in the bottom left-hand corner of posts, along with an arrow icon.

Why we care. X users have commented that the new layout makes paid adverts look less like ads and more like organic posts. This of course isn’t good for the user experience as it may make some feel like the platform is deceiving them. To turn an X user into a customer, trust has to be established. Promoting campaigns in a way that isn’t transparent is highly unlikely to build trust. While this method could very well result in more accidental clicks, that doesn’t mean it will lead to more sales, which is the ultimate goal for marketers.

How have X users reacted? Search Engine Land scrolled X to see how people have responded to the ad labels change – and it doesn’t look like they are impressed. Here are just some of the reactions we stumbled across from various X users:

  • “They made it easier for me to scroll past ads. I used to have to get to the bottom of the tweet to see it was an ad. Now it’s at the top.”
  • “Instant block for all ads.”
  • “Now it’s closer to the block button.”
  • “As a direct response, I’ve stopped just scrolling past ads and now I’m blocking every single ad I see.”
Screenshot 2023 08 01 At 13.53.28 466x600
Screenshot 2023 08 01 At 13.52.28 653x600

What has X said? X is yet to comment on the display change. However, it is possible that the social media platform is simply trialling a new format before deciding whether to implement any changes on a permanent basis. We will have to wait and see.

Why now? The move comes as X tries to entice advertisers back to the platform following a 59% drop in ad revenue after Musk’s takeover last year. Just last week, X announced that it was offering huge discounts on video ads with up to 50% off. The ad label change may also be part of the platform’s ongoing strategy to lure marketers back, but given the reaction from users, this idea may be a questionable move.

Deep dive. Read our Twitter alternatives guide if you are tempted to consider switching to another platform.

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