Many tweeters woke up on Monday morning to find that they were now “x-ing” instead of tweeting. Yes, instead of seeing the cute little blue bird that has represented Twitter since the beginning of time, users saw in its place a modern looking “X” that Twitter owner Elon Musk calls “minimalistic art deco.”
No reason really on what the “X” is supposed to represent except being linked to his company X Corp. which he founded in March of this year under the parent company X Holdings Corp. Musk seems to be enamored with the 24th letter of the alphabet, having used it in the name of his X Corp. as well as for SpaceX, the battery-operated car Tesla Model X, and his start-up xAI. He also owns the domain X.com which takes you to “new Twitter” otherwise known as X.
Musk tweeted out in October of 2022 that Twitter was an “accelerate to creating X, the everything app,” something Musk is pursuing: an app that can provide multiple services including payment processing.
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While it seems a good marketing idea to keep everything Musk does under the same X umbrella, the Twitter platform has been around for almost two decades, having launched in the March of 2006 by previous owner Jack Dorsey and three others. And people are always reluctant to change their ways. Will Musks’ reset and adieu to Twitter result in his new X customers bidding adieu to him?
Currently, according to sprout social, Twitter boasts about 556 million monthly active users worldwide. Will those Twitter/X users go along with the change or wait it out? If Kleenex changed to
“Blow” (something the White House might appreciate), yes, we would all still call our tissues Kleenex. Heck, we call every other kind of tissue “Kleenex” even though it’s a brand and not a noun. And with other social media platforms readily available, including Truth Social, Gettr, TikTok’s new text feature and the new META platform Threads, I think Musk’s new re-branding idea will ultimately prove to be a failure and many loyal Twitter fans will be flying the coop.
At the very least, Musk should have come up with a real name and not just a letter – maybe something like Xchange, which is actually descriptive of what Twitter users are doing – exchanging information.
Instead, we’re going to end up with things like X-Videos (not a good look) and other names that Musk won’t be able to control.
To the common man and woman, an “X” is negative – it’s a crossing off of something. And on a social media platform that wants to be known for free speech, it’s perplexing as to why Musk would want to use an X as the name of the platform.
An X implies censorship. Look at the photo of the big X on his corporate headquarters in San Francisco and it looks like Musk is canceling himself.
So at first I thought Elon Musk was clueless about marketing and re-branding. And then I looked into things a little more.
I checked on the federal government’s trademark website and wasn’t able to find any documentation that showed his company, X Corp., had applied for a trademark for the X logo. So I contacted a few of his trademark attorneys to get more information. They didn’t get back to me to answer whether or not a trademark application had been submitted for the X logo.
Comparing the two logos, the X logo obviously appears to be more restrictive than a bird – who is free to fly. What brought about this change? I conclude that it has a lot to do with Musks’ negative view of the Twitter that existed before he bought the company. He said in a Twitter/X audio chat recently, “We’re cutting the Twitter logo from the building with blowtorches.” Yikes.
Signs point to this being a spur-of-the-moment decision (a tantrum) and not the most thought-out process in the world. In a tweet/X he Musk said on Sunday, “And soon we shall bid adieu to the twitter brand and, gradually all the birds.”
Two minutes after that tweet/X, he told everyone, “If a good enough X logo is posted tonight, we’ll make (sic) go live worldwide tomorrow.”
So I’m supposed to believe that, for a rebranding of a social media site that has 556 million active worldwide users and was bought by Musk for $44 billion, that Musk didn’t already have an “approved” logo in the hopper months – or even weeks – ahead of time?!
And also on the platform itself still talks about Twitter and tweets.
If you look at your own Twitter/X page, you will see (as of the writing of this article), your page still refers to Twitter in at least four areas including the search bar, a listing of how many “retweets” you have made, and what you want to “tweet” out.
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Much of the evidence points to something that isn’t going to remain permanent – or something that was hastily and ill-conceived and poorly executed.
Instead of messing with everyone (think of all of the corporations that are going to have to replace logos on websites, social media sites, letterheads, brochures and other branding literature), maybe Musk should have figured out how to actually improve the platform. But I digress…I guess that’s too much work. And offering improvements doesn’t seem to be a “thing” that social media sites like to do – including Facebook/META.
So is the whole X re-branding thing just a scam? Is it a New Coke/old Coke ploy – just a marketing trick to get everyone talking about Twitter/X? If not, it’s certainly bad marketing and it definitely appears to have had an unplanned, inconsistent and unprofessional rollout. Three things that don’t look good for a dude with unlimited resources.
XXX. And those aren’t kisses.