It’s official. Twitter has set its famous blue bird free and has rebranded to X. On the morning of July 24th, Twitter users opened the app to find a black X logo where the iconic blue bird logo used to be. Their reaction? Surprised, shocked, and reluctant to accept the change.
On July 22nd, Mr. Musk announced the impeding Twitter rebranding with a mysterious tweet saying, “And soon we shall bid adieu to the twitter brand and, gradually, all the birds,” followed by a second tweet that said, “If a good enough X logo is posted tonight, we’ll make go live worldwide tomorrow.”
Some users applauded the change and everything that Musk has been doing to Twitter since his takeover. While others welcomed it with skepticism, saying that they’ll still call the platform Twitter. This isn’t particularly surprising, given that most people still call Meta Facebook, even months after the rebrand.
In this article, we’ll try to dissect the why behind Mr. Musk’s decision to rebrand Twitter to a much more gloomy X and explain the possible ramifications of this risky move.
Twitter Has Said Goodbye to Its Blue Bird Logo For Good
By now, we all know that X is Elon Musk’s favorite letter. Perhaps it’s due to him being a member of Generation X or because of the archetypal and mysterious connotations that the letter brings.
Even before becoming the richest man on Earth, Musk had an affinity for the letter X. Back in the 1990s, he co-founded an online bank named X.com, which was later acquired by PayPal. Since then, he has attempted several times to change PayPal’s branding to X.
Given that Mr. Musk has used the letter X in literally everything – from the names of his companies, X Corp and SpaceX, to his son’s name X AE A-XII (here’s how to pronounce it) – it’s no surprise that he chose this letter for Twitter’s rebrand. Even though it came as a surprise for most users, this rebrand was a long time coming. After Elon bought Twitter for $44 billion, he announced the rebranding in a tweet, explaining that “the Twitter name made sense when it was just 140 character messages going back and forth – like birds tweeting – but now you can post almost anything, including several hours of video.”
Twitter, Now X, Will Become the ‘Everything App’
The Twitter rebrand isn’t just a question of pleasing Mr. Musk’s affinity for the letter X. It’s part of a bigger plan to turn Twitter into an “everything app” – much like the Chinese giant, WeChat.
In her memo addressing the rebrand, Twitter’s CEO Linda Yaccarino hinted at the why behind Twitter turning black by saying that “With X, we will go even further to transform the global town square — and impress the world all over again.”
Plus, Elon Musk himself mentioned his future plans for Twitter in a tweet from October 2022, saying that “Buying Twitter is an accelerant to creating X, the everything app.”
What does he mean by “everything app”? It seems like Elon is planning on following in the footsteps of WeChat and turning X into a “super app” that lets users do everything – from ordering their food to paying their utilities.
This would make X a “one-stop” app to replace all the other apps we’re using on a daily basis. We could send messages to replace Whatsapp, order cabs to replace Uber, order food to replace Uber Eats, and use social media features to replace every other social media app. Yes, a true Musk takeover of the world.
What Does This All Mean For Twitter Users?
While everyone knows Twitter, only 8.85% of worldwide social media users use it. In 2023, it was in the 14th place on the list of social media apps with the most active users in the world, according to Statista.
So, with an already limited user base compared to other social media giants like Facebook, leading with over 2,958 million users, and YouTube, with 2,514 million, will X be able to conquer the world?
It all depends on how Twitter’s original user base – which mostly consists of avid tweeting fans and political enthusiasts – adapts to the rebrand. Or if they’ll adapt at all.
For those Twitter fans who are still feeling skeptical about X, this change means one of two things. Either they’ll adapt to this change over time, or they’ll leave the platform altogether as it will gradually start drifting away from its original “birds tweeting” idea.
The first option is highly likely since adaptability is one of the inherent human traits. We can adapt to anything over time – even things that we don’t willingly accept from the start.
We’ve adapted to the new normal after the pandemic, we’ve adapted to remote work, and we’re constantly adapting to the incorporation of AI into almost every aspect of our lives. Who’s to say that Twitter users won’t adapt to something as simple as Twitter’s logo change?
However, given that X will likely turn from a news-sharing platform that original Twitter fans loved so much into a super app, it’s probable that many of them will end up abandoning the platform.
From its original concept, which was as simple as sharing status updates among friends, Twitter turned into a platform where freedom of speech was highly encouraged, and everyone could express their opinions on important matters happening in the world.
But will X keep the original spirit of Twitter alive once it turns into an everything app? It’s highly unlikely.
Will X Succeed in Becoming a Super App? Time Will Tell
Where is this all leading? Aside from Elon’s future plans, there’s no way to know how this change will impact Twitter and the world in general.
Twitter’s rebrand feels like a forceful attempt on Elon’s part to revolutionize the Western world by leveraging the phenomenon of a super app. And that has the potential to change our lives to the point where we become even more dependent on our smartphones than we already are.
Once something is ingrained in people’s minds, it’s harder to instill change. In the case of big brands like Twitter, which we’ve known and used for years, we may find it hard to adapt to a new concept being forced upon us. And if the majority of people reject the change, Twitter might end up dying a lonely death.
Yet, on the other hand, we’re creatures of habits and convenience – and there’s no denying that there’s a great deal of convenience in an everything app. Will that be enough for former Twitter lovers to accept the change? Time will tell.