July 31, 2023

What happened to Twitter? Uh, I mean X.

Jenna Mason

Content Strategist

Okay, so what happened? 

Late at night on Sunday, July 23, 2023, Elon Musk ominously Tweeted “𝕏.” The following morning, workers began to remove the iconic Twitter signage from outside of the San Francisco HQ. Then, the local police department shut down the removal and new signage due to Musk’s lack of proper permits. Additionally, Microsoft owns the trademark for “X” and they will 100% sue Twitter and Musk for this. 

While all this is going down,  the letter “X” started appearing at the top of the Twitter desktop site and has now bled into other facets of Twitter. The website and app have references to both Twitter and X, leaving users confused and unamused. 

According to Fortune, Elon Musk and Twitter/X lost anywhere between $4 billion and $20 billion in brand value. The app's value has seen a significant decline since Musk's purchase last year. Many analysts, agencies, and users are calling this rebrand a mistake (a BILLION DOLLAR mistake).

This is so out of the blue? Where did it come from? 

Elon has been obsessed with the letter X for over 20 years. The fascination dates back to his first startup, x.com, which became what we know today as PayPal. Additionally, he has SpaceX, Tesla Model X, and of course, his child, X AE A-XII Musk, who he’s nicknamed X. Coincidentally (or not), he also has ten children. What’s the Roman numeral for 10? X!

This rebrand has been in the works since Musk purchased Twitter in Fall 2022. Sources say he’s had plans to bring x.com back and merge it with Twitter. Now when you visit x.com, it redirects you to Twitter.com. This April, Musk formally changed Twitter’s name to X Corp, which then “acquired” Twitter with the hope of becoming an “everything app.”

What is X and WTF is an everything app? 

Simply put, X is the latest iteration of what we know to be Twitter. 

Musk plans for X to be an “everything app” or a “super app,” but what the f**k does that mean? A “super app” combines multiple services into one platform. “Super apps” have been huge in the Asian tech ecosystem for over a decade and they’re slowly making their way to the U.S. The most well-known example of this type of app is WeChat. Musk aims for X to become something like a WeChat. Users will be able to listen to podcasts, shop, watch videos, “conduct your financial world,” and more.

What’s new here? 

Besides the name and logo change, not much is different on the platform, yet. The biggest change for brands comes in the form of verification. To increase ad spend, X has threatened brands with losing their verification. If brands want to keep their verified status on the platform, they’ll need to have spent a certain amount on their advertising by August 7, 2023.  Sources say the ad spend can range from $1k in the last 30 days to $6k in the last 180 days. 

What does this mean for my brand/my client? 

Depending on how the brand previously used Twitter, our recommendations vary. 

If your brand puts paid support behind Twitter efforts, has verification, AND wants to keep it, we recommend checking your ad spend to ensure it aligns with the 30 and 180-day rules. Otherwise, get to spending! 

If your brand uses Twitter for organic social purposes only and has an active following, we recommend keeping up a low level of effort on the platform. As X evolves, we’ll likely see a drop in users and a change in audience demographics. If the platform demographic and values don’t align with your brand, we recommend slowing down efforts on the platform and focusing efforts somewhere else, such as Threads. While Threads has seen a 70% drop in usage since the signup surge, we expect to see a resurgence in the following days and weeks as people make the mass eXodus (LOL) from X.

  • Twitter has rebranded to X. 
  • Elon Musk plans for X to be a “super app”/“everything app,” meaning it combines multiple services into one platform (ex: WeChat).
  • If brands want to maintain their verification status, they’ll need to have spent $1k in the last 30 days or $6k in the last 180 days by August 7, 2023.

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