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  • Writer's pictureMagik Chance

One Step Forward with Tied Hands: X Article Review


Just over a week ago, X released the ability to write articles. This will be my ninth full article, and I thought it was time to share my observations.


This feature seems to be available only to Premium Plus subscribers, and while it is a leap forward in some areas, it has other faults as well.


Auto-Saving Editor


I really like the articles editor. It is minimalist and even has a “focus-mode” which takes the rest of the X UI away so it’s just the article you’re focused on.


The editor automatically saves with the save going into your drafts. Originally I had some issue with the article appearing in drafts, but this seems to be fixed. The only other time I have had issues with the auto-save was when I had too many images in one article.


There is no scheduling, at least not yet. I hope they add this option in the coming month.


Formatting


The article editor is leagues above the post one. Not only do you get bold and italics, but you can now do strikethrough as well. And don’t forget headings and subheadings in addition to the standard body text! I have found this formatting can be pasted from Google Docs and my website blog editor, making drafting and copying much easier.


The text defaults to double spaced returns, but shift+enter will result in a single return. This is great for lists – or you can use the new bullet or numbered list features.


One bit of formatting that doesn’t like to transfer is embedded links, but they are supported; you will just have to redo the embedded link within the X article editor using the link button on the bar.


Features


From my recent tests, the editor seems to be able to accept 15 images (plus the header) before breaking down – a considerable improvement over a post’s limit of 4! Up to four images can be inserted at the same time with images appearing similar to how they do in a post. Videos may also be inserted.


In addition to images, gifs and other posts may be inserted via the + button. Items may be dragged through the article to rearrange them.


Unfortunately this is all that is currently supported at this time. I personally would love to see tables added in the future along with dividers and polls.


The Algorithm


My biggest disappointment with articles so far is how they work – or more accurately, don’t work – with the algorithm. Originally mentions seemed to work within articles, but as of the last few days, this no longer seems to be the case. Hashtags also do not work and X’s search does not include articles at this time.


I can only assume that they are still working on integrating articles with their systems. The lack of impressions on articles reflects this. I believe without search, hashtags, and mentions, the algorithm likely has no clue who to show the articles to.


I have also seen no integration with “Top Articles” which baffles me completely.


Until these things are rectified, I highly recommend reblogging any article you create with the relevant SEO, hashtags, and mentions. Also, if you happen to see an article and enjoy it, please be sure to retweet it so it gets the attention it deserves!


Conclusion


I love this new editor, but I wish I feel my hands weren't tied by its lack of interaction with the algorithm. I have no doubt that X will improve this feature – and hope they will do it quickly!


Articles could be a great asset for creators, but they will not be until they can work within the greater X algorithm. That said, please share this article so other people who are interested in the topic may learn about it.


Are my experiences different from yours? Please share your thoughts below so we might learn together!

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