“Bye-bye to all the birds!” That’s the gist of Elon Musk’s latest controversial Twitter decision. The not-CEO announced over the weekend that Twitter will no longer be called Twitter, even though most people will still call it that. Musk changed the social network’s name from Twitter to X, putting to good use that X.com address he got back from Paypal a few years ago. And Musk said an X logo would replace Twitter’s iconic blue bird logo. Because, of course.
Nobody could have predicted last year that Elon Musk would pay $44 billion for one of the most important social networks in town only to slowly kill it. But it happened. And the name change to X is the final nail in Twitter’s coffin. It’s still unclear why Musk is so adamant about ruining this service. Or whether his dream of turning Twitter into the everything app will work. Or whether there’s any strategy here at all. But Twitter just made it even easier for Threads to take over.
Meta quickly deployed Threads a few weeks ago and took advantage of Musk’s then-latest blunder. At the time, the not-CEO announced a temporary limit to the number of tweets a person could see. Threads quickly reached 100 million users, although I already explained that accomplishment isn’t genuine. Anyone with an Instagram handle can turn Threads on. Unless you’re in Europe, that is, where Threads is unavailable.
Musk was really annoyed at the success of Threads at the time. So much so that he sued Meta, likely knowing nothing good would come of that. Then again, before the name change to X, Threads was already losing steam when it comes to user engagement.
Fast-forward to last weekend, and Musk abruptly announced that Twitter would change to X immediately. As if Twitter’s iconic brand was the service’s biggest problem.
Musk announced the change early on Sunday, at around 12 AM EST. He then spent hours on Twitter to talk about the name change. During a Twitter Spaces session, he confirmed that “we’re cutting the Twitter logo from the building with blowtorches.”
Musk informed Twitter employees about the change, telling them the company would be called X. And that it was the last time he would email from a Twitter address.
Twitter CEO Linda Yaccarino confirmed Twitter’s name and logo change and even posted a logo for the X service.
As The Verge points out, Musk has been obsessed with using or adding the letter X in the name of its various companies. X.com would become Paypal. Tesla has an X in it. And there’s SpaceX and X.Ai.
And, again, Musk has previously said he wants to transform Twitter into X, the everything app. That would be an app similar to WeChat in China, an instant messaging app that grew into a massive social and financial experience.
Maybe running Twitter into the ground was always the plan. Musk might have needed Twitter’s user base and clout to start X. That way, the everything app he wants to create wouldn’t struggle to grow organically. Just like Mark Zuckerberg decided to create Threads on top of Instagram, so Meta wouldn’t have to really fight for users.
It sure seems like that’s what’s happening, with Yaccarino confirming that X will be an everything app.
Time will tell what happens next with Twitter. I mean X, even though I don’t see myself calling it that anytime soon. On that note, I’m dying to see what tweets get replaced with. Xeets? eXes?