If you’ve logged on to Twitter in the last few days, you may have been greeted with an unfamiliar sight: the iconic blue bird logo is gone for many users, replaced by a monochromatic ‘X’.
It’s the latest radical change ushered in by Twitter owner Elon Musk to rescue the platform since his takeover last year. A takeover which has so far proved difficult, with some estimates claiming the company has already lost up to two thirds of its value under Musk’s ownership.
So, is replacing a well-known and iconic brand a recipe for reviving a dwindling tech giant? Let’s take a closer look.
‘Everything app’ ambitions
Although X may seem like an impulsive rebrand, there is evidence to suggest a more significant long-term plan. Musk has previously stated his ambitions to transform Twitter into an ‘everything app’ with a wealth of different features and functionalities, moving it away from the micro-blogging niche that it currently occupies.
This would bring the platform more in line with hugely popular apps such as China’s WeChat, which boasts well over a billion active users thanks to its wide array of features, allowing users to not only interact with friends but also play games, send money, and even book tickets and order food.
But is a rebrand of this scale practical for Twitter? Adding so many new features may well attract new users, but implementing them would also require buckets of time, money, and labour, none of which are readily available to the company as users decline, advertisers pull out and employees are laid off.
Were big changes inevitable?
There are many who will argue that something big needed to change for Twitter to turn things around. After all, the business had been on a steady decline for several years even before Musk’s takeover, and the platform is now facing stiff competition from Meta’s new micro-blogging app, Threads.
Maybe it’s for the best, to move away from the Twitter label entirely and start afresh? However, Twitter’s downward trend has only accelerated since Musk’s takeover. Advertising revenue on the app has halved under his ownership, and the business has been hit with lawsuits from ex-staff members and a constant stream of bad press.
Twitter’s existing loyal user-base have also found themselves feeling increasingly alienated by new revenue-boosting features such as Twitter Blue, and temporary measures to limit tweet visibility in an effort to combat data-scraping.
Is ‘X’, just a product of Musk’s fascination with the letter, rather than a carefully calculated rebrand?! ‘X’ is a reoccurring theme throughout Musk’s life as the letter X dates back to 1999 and one of his first major business ventures, X.com (which, now links to Twitter). Since then, there has been SpaceX, Tesla Model X, and even his own son with pop star Grimes, is also named X Æ A-Xii!
Will the ‘X’ gamble pay off?
It goes without saying that Twitter’s new look is a very risky strategy, but it still has the potential to pay off massively if the company’s ‘everything app’ plans come to fruition. Musk’s flagship company, Tesla, flirted with bankruptcy several times in its early days, but overcame its challenges to become one of the biggest companies in the world. There will be plenty of people waiting with bated breath to find out if he can regain his old form and work another miracle at Twitter.
So, is Twitter’s surprise new rebrand an ‘X’cellent idea or an ‘X’ceptionally bad move? Only time will tell.
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This latest thinking article was written by:
Senior Content Executive