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Twitter to X Rebrand: The Story Behind Elon Musk’s Vision

Tweet Eraser Team

August 15, 2023 | 11 min read

Businesses rebrand when their current branding doesn’t reflect their mission. It can also happen after an acquisition or change in management. Twitter also went the same route after Elon Musk’s $44 billion buyout. On July 23, 2023, he posted an announcement about changing Twitter to X. This was part of his initiative to take the social media network in a new direction.

As a Twitter user, you want to know why Elon Musk changed the platform’s name in the first place. What are his plans for the social media network? This article highlights all the changes to Twitter, including what you can expect from the platform in the future.

Twitter, now X’s new logo after the rebranding.

What Are the Reasons Behind the Twitter Name Change?

You want to know what are the reasons behind the Twitter name change. After all, Twitter is a recognizable social media network. If you ask people about Twitter, there’s a high chance they’ll know about the platform. Wouldn’t changing the name cause confusion? Well, yes, but Elon Musk also has his reasons for going through with Twitter change to X, as highlighted below:

  • Elon Musk wants to make Twitter now X, an all-in-one platform, instead of only a social media network. He drew inspiration from WeChat, a Chinese app offering various services. Not only is WeChat a social media site, but it is also a digital payment, shopping and messaging platform. As people automatically associate Twitter with the social media company, changing the name gives them a fresh start.
  • Elon Musk acquired Twitter to ensure the platform allows users to speak freely. After the acquisition, he introduced Twitter Blue (now X Premium). One feature of this subscription was the increase in character limit from 280 to 25,000. It was okay to call the platform Twitter as the conversations were brief between users. In other words, it was similar to two birds talking to each other, which is representative of the platform. However, this is no longer the case, as you can have in-depth discussions with X Premium (formerly Twitter Blue).

Why the Letter X?

You must go back several decades to understand why the letter X out of all the possibilities. Elon Musk’s interest in the letter X starts with one of his earliest companies, X.com. It was an email payment and online financial services provider. After the merger between Confinity and X.com, he became PayPal’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

During his time as CEO, he wanted to rebrand PayPal to X. However, several employees, including Peter Thiel and Max Chafkin, were against this move. This was when PayPal became more than a company and a part of people’s conversations. In fact, eBay vendors referred to PayPal as a verb, not just a brand. Also, it was easy to mistake X as a website for adult content, not a trustworthy online payment platform. In 2000, the co-founders of PayPal removed Elon Musk as CEO to prevent him from bringing his vision to life.

However, this didn’t stop him from including X in other companies. For example, SpaceX, a company he co-founded for space exploration, also uses the letter X. Similarly, his latest venture xAI features the alphabet. Tesla used this letter to name one of their cars—Model X.

Elon Musk’s son, with Canadian musician Claire Elise Boucher, goes by the name X Æ A-12 Musk. In an episode of The Joe Rogan Experience, a podcast by Joe Rogan, Elon Musk was a guest. During the show, he clarified that the pronunciation of his son’s name is simply, X.

Also, he formed X Corp. to acquire the social media network. Changing Twitter to X isn’t surprising, given Elon Musk’s fascination with this letter.

Twitter, renamed to X, current logo on an iPhone.

What Else Is a Part of the Twitter Rebrand?

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X, formerly Twitter, is no longer the social media network that transformed how people communicate online. The platform is undergoing significant changes to bring it closer to Elon Musk’s vision. Given below is a highlight of what’s different due to the Twitter rebrand:

  • Twitter, now as X, no longer uses the term tweets. Instead, it refers to them as posts. This is a significant change, as there is an official definition for a tweet in the Oxford English Dictionary.
  • As tweets are archaic, retweets also follow suit. The social media platform uses reposts instead of retweets. You can see this change in Twitter for Android, iOS and the web. 
  • Although quote tweets aren’t a part of the rebranding, this will change. The platform will change it to a quote post or something else representing the brand.
  • Twitter overhauled the verification system and introduced Twitter Blue. It is a subscription offering new features to its subscribers. However, the platform won’t be sticking with Twitter Blue, as it is changing this to X Premium. Although there was no official announcement, Elon Musk mentioned this in a post.
  • The social media network changed Twitter Ads to X Ads to keep things consistent with the rebranding. 
  • TweetDeck, a tool for power users, now goes by X Pro.

Twitter to X: How Did Users React to the Twitter Name Change?

While talking about the Twitter name change, let’s look at reactions from the platform’s users. Initially, people will resist the rebranding of Twitter to X, as this is a significant change. Nobody likes drastic changes, especially when something becomes a part of their daily lives. After all, people spend hours on the platform, going through various posts and replies. Loyal users of the platform may feel like the social media network doesn’t care about them. You can see the discontent among these users if you go to Apple’s App Store. Several people are leaving 1-star reviews to show their frustration with the changes.

However, sentiments won’t remain the same, despite the initial opposition to the rebranding. Over time, people will adapt and come to terms with the changes.

There are several examples highlighting how people’s opinions change with time:

  • Airbnb changed its logo in 2014 as part of its rebranding efforts. Initially, the company received significant backlash on various social media platforms. However, this is no longer the case. In 2022, according to Statista, Airbnb’s revenue was $8.4 billion. Even though people were unhappy with the logo change, the company didn’t take a hit in the long run.
  • Twitter’s rival, Meta, also received criticism for its rebrand. Mark Zuckerberg wanted to move the company toward what he believed was the internet’s future. Despite the criticism, Meta generated more than $116 billion in 2022, as per Statista’s reports.

Although it may seem like Twitter, now X, will take a significant hit for rebranding, the reality is different. Initially, people will make fun of the social media network’s move. However, they will forget and continue to use the platform, irrespective of their opinions about the rebranding.

A user going to Twitter in the iPad App Store to leave a negative 1-star review.

Twitter to X: Twitter Logo Change Explained

Twitter’s iconic logo of a bluebird is no more. In place of it, you’ll see X’s rebranded design. But what is the reason behind the Twitter logo change? Why did the social media network go this route? Elon Musk highlighted two reasons on the platform:

  • X is a representation of the imperfections in humans. According to Elon Musk, this makes everyone on this planet unique. 
  • However, he didn’t just stop there. In the second half of the day, he provided another reason for the logo change—he likes the letter X.

X, formerly Twitter, doesn’t have any plans to go back to the social media network’s initial branding. This is despite the backlash he’s receiving on his platform and other social media networks. 

Linda Yaccarino, the new CEO of Twitter, was on the same page as Musk. She believes that only some businesses get a second chance. Twitter has been fortunate to get this opportunity to transform lives again.

When Twitter came out, it changed how people communicate in digital spaces. As X is in a similar position, Linda believes this company will do the same again. 

As part of the rebranding effort, the social media network removed its logo from its headquarters (HQ). However, this took longer than expected due to the police’s arrival. They wanted to check if the company had the necessary permits. Later, the police clarified that there was a misunderstanding on their side. 

The rebranded logo on top of the building was also in the news. There were several complaints about its brightness and structural integrity.

The old Twitter logo that the company wanted to remove from its building during the rebranding.

Twitter to X: What Happened After Acquisition?

Twitter to X has been a challenging journey for the social media network. The platform underwent several ups and downs to reach where it is today. Here’s a brief highlight of the changes to Twitter, under the new ownership:

  • The platform changes its legacy verification system to Twitter Blue, a subscription model. It now goes by the title X Premium. There are three checkmarks for verified users—gold, blue, and gray.
  • There’s a For You and Following feed instead of the old Home and Latest timelines.
  • View counts are permanently visible on most types of posts. It is only unavailable on Twitter Circle posts and tweets (now posts) published after December 15, 2022.
  • The expanded tweet (now posts) view has a button to bookmark the post. Initially, it was only available to iOS users. Now, you can use this feature regardless of the device and platform.
  • The social media network makes subscribing to Twitter Blue (X Premium) or Verified Organizations mandatory to run advertisements.
  • There is a relaunch of Twitter Super Follows as the Creator Subscription Program. This allows users to have an exclusive subscription service on the platform.
  • If you subscribe to Twitter Blue (X Premium), you have up to one hour to edit your post. 
  • The platform has rate limits as part of the social media network’s efforts to reduce bots, spam and data scraping. 
  • Several third-party apps no longer work due to significant changes to the platform’s Application Programming Interface (API) pricing. 
  • The platform is now allowing group direct messages. You can add up to 100 users in a group.
A person using Twitter on their iPhone after the rebranding to see what’s different on the social media network.

Twitter to X: What’s Next for the Social Media Network?

As Twitter is now X, you might want to know what’s in store for the social media network. If Elon Musk sticks with his vision, the platform will start offering financial services in the future. As the platform relies heavily on advertiser revenue, it makes sense to find other avenues. If the platform has to offer these services, it needs a substantial investment of capital and infrastructure. It’s unclear whether the social media platform has the resources to move in this direction.

The switch to provide additional services can help in the long run as it creates new revenue streams. However, this is also a double-edged sword, as this increases the ways in which the platform can fail. For example, people may not know what Twitter stands for and stop using the network. Or, it can’t get more brands to advertise on its platform.

Although there are several changes as Twitter is now X, there is still no way to delete multiple posts quickly. What if you want to remove hundreds of tweets as they contain personal information? Cybercriminals can use your public personal data to conduct phishing attacks against you. Or, you have a job interview with a Fortune 500 brand, and you know they’ll scrutinize your social media accounts.

Either way, having the option to delete multiple posts with a single click is a lifesaver. You can rely on TweetEraser to take care of this for you. The simple interface makes it easy to delete all posts. You can also set up auto-delete to ensure certain tweets never see the light of day. Use TweetEraser today so that you never have to worry about these issues ever again!

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