Avid Twitter users awoke gobsmacked this weekend when they went to check their phones and saw a large white X in place of the beloved Twitter bird logo. Immediately Twitter fans began calling out the man himself CEO of the platform Elon Musk, for this strange marketing decision. And while some have begun to adjust to this new reality, social media users have been left with many unanswered questions.
Why is Twitter X?
This decision reflects the final stages of the platform rebrand, a process the social media site has been undergoing since Musk’s acquisition of the company in late 2022. Previously Musk has alluded to the death of this iconic bird in prior discussions regarding the new direction of the company, a choice he believes will help shift the platform beyond a social media platform and into an “everything app.”
What is the Light-Up Sign Controversy?
The company revealed the new letter X logo in a video posted by Elon Musk on Twitter showcasing a light-up X sign on top of the building of their downtown san francisco headquarters. The post was captioned with the statement “Our HQ in San Francisco tonight.” Paralleling the backlash that the decision has received on the platform, many residents of the apartment building across from the headquarters have complained about the extreme intensity of the new light-up sign. San Francisco police have now gotten involved with X sign controversy and have chosen to open up an investigation with the department of building inspection to ensure proper permits were received in the sign installment process.
Does Elon Stand by the Rebrand?
Following the release of the rebrand Elon also posted a statement on his account claiming that “Twitter name made sense when it was just 140 character messages going back and forth – like birds tweeting – but now you can post almost anything, including several hours of video.” The statement suggests that the billionaire stands by his decision to shift the company down a different path, however, many users are not as content with the rebrand.
Have There Been Other Elon x Twitter Controversies in the Past?
Prior to this drastic shift, other changes to the platform have left users unsure or discontent with the new direction of the company. Controversy ensued a few months back when it was revealed that verified creators on the platform would have to pay $8 a month to remain verified. While these efforts reflected Musk’s desire to create a more accurate news source for users, this also sprung up the dialogue surrounding billionaire influence and inequal vocalization of knowledge on the app. Furthermore, it resulted in the impersonation of various public figures through other verified accounts, ultimately having the opposite effect as originally intended. The feature has since been disabled, but the lingering effects of Elon’s takeover has many user and advertisers questioning whether Musk is qualified to be the new manager of an integral news and media outlet.
What Does this Rebrand Suggest about the Future of Twitter?
This decision also reflects Elon’s desire to stick with the company for the long haul. While no current changes have been made to the platform this drastic decision signifies a future shift in the overall functions of the platform. Furthermore, with the choice to name the company X, Twitter is now a direct reflection of its CEO. Elon has always had a relationship with X, whether that be in the name of his 2-year-old son, X AE-XII, with the creation of his original company X.com, which is now referred to as Paypal, or with various projects and companies including SpaceX and ModelX. This choice is a reflection of Elon’s increasing influence and implementation of the platform. What remains of Twitter will soon be unrecognizable, and X, for better or for worse, will stand firmly in its place.