For the first 15 years of its life, Twitter was never exactly a calm place, but it was, for the most part, reliable. Any major changes Jack Dorsey and his team came infrequently. Then Elon Musk got his mitts on it. Nowadays not much time goes by without chaos reigning. It’s been a few weeks since the weird Twitter meltdown that led to a surge in Bluesky sign-ups, to say nothing of Mark Zuckerberg’s not-quite-“Twitter killer.” So he decided to throw another monkey wrench into the cogs.
As per The Verge, late Saturday night Musk had a cryptic announcement, as one does that time of the week. “And soon we shall bid adieu to the twitter brand and, gradually, all the birds,” he wrote. A couple minutes later he became a little clearer, sort of, writing, “If a good enough X logo is posted tonight, we’ll make go live worldwide tomorrow.”
Sure enough, Musk later confirmed during an awkward, silence-filled Twitter Spaces hang that he was ditching the Twitter name and rebranding as, simply, “X.” The change was coming soon, too, with him vowing that “we’re cutting the Twitter logo from the building with blowtorches.”
Musk also teased what may or may not wind up being the new logo.
When (if?) the name/brand change comes, it will bring an end to a 17-year era that reshaped how social media works, and even saw the company adding a noun and a verb to the English dictionary. Whether or not what people do on X will still be called “tweeting” remains to be seen.
Musk’s posts about the rebranding featured replies from the usual blue-checked sycophants. For many others, it was yet another chance to drag the second-richest person on the planet on the service he owns.
In Elon Musk's defense, unlike so many other large corporate CEOs, he didn't pay consultants millions of dollars to rebrand Twitter as X. He came up with this dumb idea himself, for free.
— Patrick Chovanec (@prchovanec) July 23, 2023
Some wondered why the owner of Space X loves the letter so much.
Elon has been obsessed with calling everything "X," Space X, Model X, X AE A-12, now just X, ever since the rest of the PayPal owners told him it was a stupid name. He's going to erase a globally recognized, culturally impactful brand because he was told "No" 25yrs ago.
— Patrick S. Tomlinson (@stealthygeek) July 23, 2023
In 2000, Elon Musk tried to rebrand PayPal as https://t.co/BBM8GTWvT5, but was forced out by the board and replaced as CEO by Peter Thiel.
Now he’s doing the same to Twitter, but is surrounded by sycophants who can’t tell him it’s a bad idea.
— Paris Marx (@parismarx) July 23, 2023
Others saw it not as an exciting change but as yet another death knell for a once-thriving company.
Elon celebrating Twitter X with everyone left at twitter headquarters pic.twitter.com/dDvWuG4Q94
— Pizza Dad (@Pizza__Dad) July 23, 2023
My sweet summer child, you may finally rest. Goodbye Twitter.
(March 21st 2006 – July 23rd 2023) pic.twitter.com/QdyiICJfy1
— Saph (ER-ISS) (@Saphirrus) July 23, 2023
Some weren’t exactly optimistic that Musk could make it work.
Make it happen, Elon, and since you don't have a comms team or a DEI team, you'll never know X (or "Equis") is slang in Latin America for "whatever" or "it's irrelevant" until it's too late. https://t.co/7IthSl4Qsi
— Emil Caillaux (@emilcDC) July 23, 2023
Others saw it as just another dumb rebrand from another questionable company leader.
Rebranding HBO to Max was the dumbest rebrand in recent history.
Elon: Hold my beer and/or whatever is being partaken at 3 am https://t.co/3ZwiQ5wHlt
— Kara Swisher (@karaswisher) July 23, 2023
There were plenty of miscellaneous jokes.
— Hard Drive (@HardDriveMag) July 23, 2023
Elon's other choices for a new Twitter symbol: pic.twitter.com/RzgVi6YNoA
— Paul Rudnick (@PaulRudnickNY) July 23, 2023
Everyone’s reaction to Elon changing Twitter to Twitter X pic.twitter.com/0kswnNmOgQ
— iregretlikingsports (@Jimmy2424555) July 23, 2023
Elon wants to be the Joker so bad but everything he does is 100% Kite Man material https://t.co/vrMK0KWlky
— Mike Drucker (@MikeDrucker) July 23, 2023
elon musk and doja cat competing for who can ruin their brand and drive away consumers the most https://t.co/qZdVsueyzU
— M❞ (@theauroraswift) July 23, 2023
— Saint Hoax (@SaintHoax) July 23, 2023
Twitter X is not allowed in the X meeting pic.twitter.com/JSjKWZdweg
— TheNCSmaster (@TheNCSmaster) July 23, 2023
As of this writing, Twitter is still called Twitter. That may change by the time some of you read these words. When (again, if) it does leave, pour one out for a real one.
(Via The Verge)