Recently Twitter revealed its new identity as “X” on the App Store, complete with a new “X” logo to replace the once beloved bluebird emblem. Interestingly, Elon Musk’s X Corp, the owner of Twitter, managed to secure an exception for this single-character app name, which is typically not allowed.
In a surprising move that caused a stir since the launch of Meta’s new app, Threads, Elon Musk has stolen some of the social media spotlight with a bold statement that Twitter would now be known as “X”. This name change reflects Musk’s vision for Twitter to go beyond its microblogging origins and transform into an all-encompassing social platform.
X is more than just a name change, though. More than anything, it’s signalling a new direction.
The big reveal
The reveal of Twitter’s new X logo has unsurprisingly sparked a lot of controversy. The logo, a simple, stylised X, represents a significant shift. This new logo is said to mark the company’s refreshed focus on “unlimited interactivity”.
As part of the Twitter to X rebrand, the well-known Twitter sign at their headquarters was removed with a projection of a large X logo, causing mixed reactions. The logo design’s origins have also become a point of contention, with Twitter user Sawyer Merritt claiming it was inspired by an online font, while another designer argued it was based on a Unicode character.
This move has drawn mixed reactions, but, in a way, it’s nothing new. Musk has long been vocal about his aim to transform Twitter into something more than just a social media app, alluding to China’s WeChat app. Musk says the new name better reflects this vision and sees X as an “everything app” that can be used for all things, from communication to commerce.
Correction to my previous reply: @ajtourville designed the thicker X logo below for our (now discontinued) @OfficialXPod. The thicker logo was inspired by a font he found online (bottom right). I created the video above using the font logo, adding a glow and little lines in the… pic.twitter.com/GF0l2KM2Vt— Sawyer Merritt (@SawyerMerritt) July 23, 2023
Tweets have been X’d out
The rebrand is also accompanied by a new name for tweets. Instead of “tweets,” they will now be called “X’s.” This is another way for Musk to distance himself from the old Twitter brand and create a new identity for the company.
So, what does this all mean for Twitter? It’s still too early to say for sure. However, it’s clear that Musk has big plans for the company. He envisions X as a space for communication, entertainment, commerce, and according to Bloomberg, a one-stop shop for financial services. Brands will need to think carefully on how they can position themselves with this new vision.
And soon we shall bid adieu to the twitter brand and, gradually, all the birds— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 23, 2023
The future of X
Only time will tell, of course, but it’s clear Musk is determined to make X a major player in the tech industry. Here are a few possible scenarios:
- X could become a major success, rivalling the likes of Meta and Google
- X could fail to gain traction and eventually shut down
- X could become a niche platform that appeals to a specific group of users
How brands can prepare
Brands need to be prepared for change. While the transformation offers new opportunities, it also presents some challenges:
- Brand confusion: The new name and logo are likely to cause some confusion among users, as they are very different from the old Twitter branding. This could lead to brands losing followers and engagement on the platform.
- Rebranding costs: Brands that have invested in marketing and advertising on Twitter will need to rebrand their campaigns to reflect the new name and logo. This could be a costly and time-consuming process.
- New opportunities: The rebrand could also create new opportunities for brands. For example, brands could use the new name and logo to create a new and recognisable social brand identity. They could also use the rebrand to launch new products and services.
What brands need to consider
This rebrand is a major turning point for Twitter and for brands. It’s perhaps too early to say what the long-term impacts of the rebrand will be, but it’s clear that brands will need to be prepared to adapt their social strategy:
- Brands need to be prepared for change: Twitter is still in a state of flux and constantly evolving. This means that brands will need to be prepared to pivot and be willing to adapt their strategy to these changes.
- Brands need to get creative: The new name and logo are very different from the old Twitter branding. This means that brands will need to be creative in how they use the new branding in their marketing and advertising campaigns, including how to use it to their advantage.
- Brands will need to be patient: The rebrand to X is a long-term project. It will take time to roll out and for brands and individuals to see the benefits.
This rebrand might be a challenge for some brands in discerning a good way forward, but it’s important to keep an eye out for new opportunities. The brands who are prepared for change and creative in their approach will be best positioned to succeed.