Lost in Transition: The Troublesome Twitter Rebrand to “X”

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Everything is moving so fast these days with technology. The introduction of AI is taking the world by storm but so are the launching, changes, and metamorphosis of business around the world. There is just so much to keep up with and try to understand.

Threads launch ignited Musk’s desire to rebrand

With the recent launch of Meta’s Threads, Twitter was in an uproar about the launch.

In a letter published by the news outlet Semafor (Semafor is a news website founded in 2022 by Ben Smith, former editor-in-chief of BuzzFeed News and media columnist at The New York Times, and Justin B. Smith, the former CEO of Bloomberg Media Group), Twitter’s lawyer voiced serious concerns about Meta Platforms’ (Meta) alleged misappropriation of Twitter’s trade secrets and other intellectual property.

The letter demanded that Meta immediately cease using any Twitter trade secrets or highly confidential information.

Twitter quickly rebrands itself.

Not only did Twitter share how unhappy they were about the launch, it lit a fire under Elon Musk to take some pretty extreme steps. Enter the renaming of the iconic brand, Twitter.

Not only did Musk fire 70% of the original Twitter employees after completing his $44 billion acquisition of Twitter, he is now stripping the brand of any real recognition. Below you can see his Twitter posts as he ramps up the masses for the next iteration of Twitter.

Twitter is now branded as X

On July 23, Twitter has now officially changed its logo to an X. The X is an important symbol to Musk. The web address x.com had already been redirected to its previous incarnation as Twitter.

The domain had been under Musk’s ownership in 2017, following its release during the merger that became PayPal.

According to X Corp. CEO Linda Yaccarino, shared in a thread (thread below) on X (formally Twitter), stating “It’s an exceptionally rare thing — in life or in business — that you get a second chance to make another big impression.

Twitter made one massive impression and changed the way we communicate. Now, X will go further, transforming the global town square.”

Page thread for Tweet on Twitter from Linda Yaccarino with rows of black text on white background.

Removing the name from the building.

Monday, out of the blue, the letter “X” started making its mysterious debut on the good ol’ desktop version of Twitter. But fear not, for smartphone users, the bird still ruled the roost – for now.

At Twitter headquarters, workers decided to take a bold step and started removing the iconic bird and logo from the building on Monday.

Without a permit, police arrived to halt the operation until they could get a permit and tape off the sidewalk to keep pedestrians safe

Up-close view of former Twitter building channel letters for signage piled on the street.

Elon Musk has a peculiar fondness for the letter X that runs deep. Notably, when he acquired Twitter, he swiftly transformed its corporate identity into the mysterious X Corp.

But that’s not all! Musk dreams of crafting an “everything app,” inspired by China’s WeChat, through his bold Twitter acquisition and rebranding. Alongside his space-bound ventures in SpaceX and AI exploits with xAI, Musk’s eccentricity knows no bounds, as evidenced by his choice to name one of his sons simply “X.”

Branding Twitter to X

As a company that works with large and small companies with branding, it is important for us to look at this global brand and access their rebrand.

Case studies help us improve what we do as a company and investigating and observing changes in business branding is key to a better understanding of a brand and how it is perceived by the public.

As much as the X on a black background has a cool edge, it lacks accessibility to those outside of those that find edgy things aesthetically pleasing.

As a social media application, the idea is to connect people. The more sleek and ambiguous something is, the less the general public will want to interact with it.

Will this rebrand work?

Analyzing Twitter’s recent shift to the letter “X,” has led to confusion, ambiguity, and an overall sense of detachment. The original brand, logo, and association with the act of “Tweeting” on the platform made sense and was easily understood by everyone.

As time goes on, we will observe the outcome of this rebranding strategy. It is possible that the platform, its new name, and its revised direction may find success.

However, considering our experience in branding, extensive research, and following industry professionals, we would be genuinely surprised if it proves to be successful.