Having changed Twitter Inc to X Corp back in April, the inevitable rebrand of the social network as ‘X’ is now underway – but why?
The bluebird is confirmed dead, and Elon Musk is holding the rifle.
As you’ve no doubt seen already, the billionaire has been constantly touting ‘X’ on his profile this week while trolling those who proclaim that ‘Twitter is dead’ – which has trended a few times in recent months.
In a tweet on Sunday morning (July 23), he stated: ‘Soon we shall bid adieu to the Twitter brand and, gradually, all the birds.’ That evening, a stylized X logo was projected on the company’s base in San Francisco, and mere hours later it replaced the bluebird on the social network. RIP (2006 – 2023).
The corporate entity Musk used to purchase and run Twitter is called X Holdings and the parent company for the site has been known as X Corp since April. Suffice to say, whether or not the decision to rebrand will prove popular, it’s unequivocally permanent.
And soon we shall bid adieu to the twitter brand and, gradually, all the birds
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 23, 2023
Why the rebrand?
Let’s start with the basic stuff. Musk has a weird affinity with the letter X.
In 1999, he co-founded X.com, an online banking service, and later merged it with another start-up to form PayPal. In 2017, however, it was revealed that Musk repurchased the X.com domain, hinting that a large-scale project was in the works.
Over the next five years, Musk would regularly speak of his desire to launch ‘X, the everything app’ akin to China’s WeChat; which combines messaging, payments, its own marketplace, and a social network in one place.
Skip to the present, and Twitter’s chief director Linda Yaccarino has posted: ‘X is the future of unlimited interactivity centred on audio, video, messaging, payments/banking, and powered by AI (more specifically xAI, created by Musk).
The simplest explanation, therefore, is that the Tesla owner probably acquired Twitter in the first place to create X and see his long-term vision come to life. By virtue of using Twitter as a pawn, though, many have justifiably lamented the rebrand as a vanity project.
In terms of the timing, Meta’s Twitter-like service Threads springing from the woodwork may have accelerated Musk’s decision to push for wholesale innovation too. Having closely followed his standoff with rival Zuckerberg, I can’t believe he’d accept the challenge lying down.