Elon Musk is continuing his quest to revamp Twitter, something he’s been doing on and off, mostly on, since he acquired it last October, with the change this time being the most significant one to date; a new logo, new name, and ultimately, new mandate. While the blue bird has been Twitter’s icon since it’s inception in 2006, it is no more. The new name is just X, the domain is X.com, and the logo is a white X on a black background, which is unsurprising given Musk’s known appreciation for the letter.
In typical Musk fashion, the logo and name change was abrupt and a bit chaotic and "started with a tweet in the early hours of July 23 saying “soon we shall bid adieu to the twitter brand and, gradually, all the birds,” followed by a second tweet adding that “if a good enough X logo is posted tonight, we’ll make go live worldwide tomorrow.” Less than an hour later, a 3 second video revealing the new logo was posted from Musk’s account.
As mentioned, the new logo comes with a new mandate with Musk stating back in October that acquiring Twitter would be “an accelerant to creating X, the everything app”. The CEO of Twitter, Linda Yaccarino, stated “X is the future state of unlimited interactivity – centered in audio, video, messaging, payments/banking – creating a global marketplace for ideas, goods, services, and opportunities. Powered by AI, X will connect us all in ways we’re just beginning to imagine.” Essentially, the team at Twitter want to elevate the app beyond just the social media app it’s been since its creation 17 years ago and create a “super app”. While it’s certainly a grand ambition, Musk and the rest of the Twitter team aren’t actually doing anything new with this vision.
WeChat is a hugely popular super-app in China that is “an all-encompassing service that includes messaging and video chatting, video games, photo sharing, ride services, food delivery, banking, and shopping” and the app actually serves as inspiration for Musk, as indicated during a panel discussion in May.
The idea sounds interesting enough, but will it ultimately be successful? While WeChat has experienced enormous success in China, there aren’t any examples of successful super-apps outside of China. Will X.com be the first? Possibly, but it’s far too early to make an accurate prediction, especially considering the pace at which Musk changes his mind.
However, what is certain, is that by rebranding Twitter, he has, “single handedly wiped out over fifteen years of a brand name that has secured its place in our cultural lexicon,” Mike Proulx, a research director at advisory firm Forrester, told The Independent.” He goes onto to stress that “this is an extremely risky move because with ‘X,’ Musk is essentially starting over while its competition is afoot.” Indeed, this new rebrand comes a little more than two weeks after Meta launched their version of Twitter, Threads, which has since become the fastest growing website in history, by far, which is almost certainly concerning for Twitter and likely hastened the launch of the rebrand.
As far as whether the rebrand will be successful, it probably will. At the end of the day, Twitter is not just a brand, it's the people that flock to that brand, the opinions that sit there, and the conversations to be had. Something Threads can't contend with is the people and the types of conversations being had there and as much as people will scoff and roll their eyes at this newest development, X has staying power so long as the people stay. The site has mob mentality no matter what name it goes by and it's unlikely this will be the breaking point.