Another week, another major change to Twitter from Elon Musk.
The latest big news coming out of Twitter / X Corp HQ is that the company has officially rebranded to ‘X’ as part of Elon Musk’s plan to create an ‘everything app’.
This is the latest in a long line of changes Musk has made to the platform since he bought it back in October – but undoubtedly the biggest shift on the platform to date.
Already the X.com URL redirects to Twitter.com and Twitter’s display name is X on the official Twitter account, although the handle remains the same.
Here are the key things to be aware of about the rebrand:
- Elon Musk and Linda Yaccarino have confirmed that Twitter will rebrand as ‘X’
- The company bosses announced the change in a series of tweets, including revealing the new X logo which will replace the famous blue bird
- ‘Tweets’ will also be replaced and posts will be called ‘x’s’ or ‘xeets’
- Musk has long spoken about his plans to launch ‘X, the everything app’, likely inspired by the success of China’s WeChat app
- Yaccarino said in her tweets: ‘X is the future of unlimited interactivity’, centered on ‘audio, video, messaging, payments/banking’ and ‘powered by AI’
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR THE PLATFORM?
- Although both Musk and Yaccarino have spoken about the rebrand as an exciting new opportunity, it’s a bold decision to completely change one of the most iconic brand identities in social media, one which has spawned its own famous terms like ‘tweeting’ and ‘retweet’
- On the one hand, this rebrand could be the start of a period of innovation and take the platform in a new direction, with a new user base which could help secure the platform’s future and tempt advertisers back to the platform
- However, it’s also possible that this rebrand and continued move away from what made the platform so popular in the first place (ie. Users engaging with in the moment, trending conversations), could further alienate existing Twitter users who have stayed loyal to the platform until now
- We also need to be aware that simply copying where other apps/platforms have found success is a strategy which rarely works so we’ll need to closely monitor what these changes actually mean for the consumer and if Musk and Yaccarino stick with their plans if the user base does continue to wane
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR BRANDS?
- In the immediate, the blue bird is gone and the platform logo has officially changed so any icons linking out to X/Twitter on websites or other media will need to be updated
- Brands will need to monitor usage of the platform and how this potentially shifts over the coming weeks, how that impacts brand strategies on the platform. Currently, users are continuing to use the platform as they have previously and there have been no major changes to the app/webpage other than the logo change
- Depending on how the ‘unlimited interactivity’ element actually looks in practice once the changes start to properly roll out, it could bring new proactive and reactive content opportunities for brands with new innovation opportunities e.g. around AI – but it remains to be seen if these changes will be effective and if users will show interest in new features like these
- Meta’s new app Threads has seen a dip in user engagement over the last week, since the initial spike in interest – but yet more changes to X/Twitter could see another surge in users returning to the alternative app, therefore Threads should continue to be part of the social media mix
Musk’s future plans are primarily concerned with bringing revenue back to the platform, so the promise of payments being added to the new and rebranded X will be a major part of his focus.
He hopes to make the platform… “THE BIGGEST FINANCIAL INSTITUTION IN THE WORLD” …but there is a lot of work to be done from Musk and Yaccarino to solve the mounting list of problems Twitter’s traditionally loyal user base have encountered since Musk’s takeover; and it’s difficult to see how burning down such a world famous brand identity for a new logo and name will help them achieve those goals.