Elon’s at it again.
As of today, Twitter will be known as ‘X’.
The question is, ‘Y’?
Lol, I’m so funny.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 23, 2023
Rebrands are a challenging thing to do. I still call the Channel 4 streaming service 4oD. And according to search data, so do almost 250,000 other people, every month. And then it was All4, which I didn’t even realise it isn’t called anymore, as of… just now.
I wonder how much time and money Channel 4 wasted on that? At least they recognise it was daft.
People still call our streaming service 4OD so good luck https://t.co/olKv5FFTWf
— Channel 4 (@Channel4) July 24, 2023
So, what can Musk stand to lose from ditching the Twitter brand?
Bye bye brand recognition
Twitter has been around since 2006. I’ve been on the platform since 2012, and despite it being a hellhole with gradually worsening usability, it’s still probably the social media site I spend most of my time on. My friend referred to it as ‘that website you go on to get angry and sad’. She’s bang on.
Everyone knows what a Tweet or Retweet is. People literally use ‘Tweet’ as a verb, in the same way you’d tell someone to ‘Google it’. Apparently, they will now be known as an X.
In terms of Retweets… no idea. According to Musk ‘That whole concept should be rethought’.
Cool. That makes loads of sense.
The little blue bird was cute and instantly recognisable. The new logo appears to be a rip-off of a capital X glyph from a font library, though apparently, it’s an interim. Which kind of goes to show just how little thought has been put into it.
X is ambiguous. In fact, type the letter ‘x’ into a browser, and you’ll see results for an existing company called X, a division of Alphabet (Google’s parent company).
You’ll also see a film by the same name. And a punk band. And an album by Ed Sheeran.
If you search on LinkedIn, there are 70 other companies named X.
‘X’ has little to no personality as a brand. And it looks and sounds like a porn site. In fact, if Musk ever wants to call the videos hosted on the platform ‘xvideos’, well, that’s already an adult site. And Twitter Blue will become ‘X Blue’, I assume. Besides also sounding like a site you search for on Incognito mode, that’s already the name of a business phone solution provider.
Very well thought out.
Cost and complexity
Any business that has gone through a rebrand will tell you it ain’t cheap, and it ain’t easy. So with Twitter (sorry, X) reportedly haemorrhaging cash, it’s probably not the best time to do it.
Musk is worth a lot of money on paper. But he also wants to cut costs wherever he can, as well as using Tesla stock to prop up his purchase of Twitter.
Rebrands are also complex, especially for corporates with millions of users. The time and resources (and therefore cash) that need to be invested are huge.
The domain x.com has already been secured, and redirects to twitter.com. But the question is, what happens to the billions of Tweets that have been posted? From an SEO perspective, getting that many redirects in place will be an absolute nightmare.
Also, does he own all of the other TLDs for the X brand?
x.co.uk redirects to radiox.co.uk – so I’m assuming not.
Even on the platform itself, the rebrand to X has been half-arsed at best.
I mean… come on. I’d have my head caved in if I launched a rebrand for a client looking like this.
— HappyToast? (@IamHappyToast) July 24, 2023
It’s still early days, but I’m looking forward to seeing just how badly the transition to X goes. Twenty quid says it’s going to be one disaster after the next.
It’s all about him
I don’t know why Elon Musk is so obsessed with the letter X.
I don’t think he’s really thought this rebrand through properly, and I don’t think he cares.
Obviously, the rebrand has attracted a lot of attention. Which I’m sure is massaging his ego nicely. But beyond that, I personally think it won’t have been worth the effort.
He’s an idiotic man baby that Tweets like a basement-dwelling-incel-shitposter.
A 52 year old adult man: (giggling) 420. 69. s3xy. (giggling and blushing) Balls! pic.twitter.com/TOJaZJpMDj
— pokey pup (@Whatapityonyou) July 24, 2023
(Yes, this is real).
I hope the X rebrand fails miserably and everyone laughs at him forever and he loses all his money.