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Jul 24, 2023, 3:29pm EDT
techNorth America

Will Twitter’s rebranding to X be successful?

Twitter/X
REUTERS/Dado Ruvic
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The News

Elon Musk announced Sunday that he is rebranding Twitter to “X,” yet another shakeup at the social media company nearly a year after his $44 billion takeover.

The move appears to be part of Musk’s ambitions of creating a “super app” with Twitter/X — similar to China’s WeChat. CEO Linda Yaccarino tweeted that the revamped platform will offer “unlimited interactivity” such as video, messaging, and banking that is “powered by AI.”

We’ve curated insightful reactions and reporting from tech observers on the rebranding.

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Insights

  • Digital payments are the backbone of any super app, yet many remain skeptical that Twitter can successfully achieve this feat. U.S. regulations will certainly prove a challenge to Twitter, but the more daunting task is securing customers’ trust — something Twitter lacks right now. Brands and influencers are fleeing from the app, and the “Twitter Files” leaking of internal documents isn’t reassuring users that personal data can be kept safe. — Wired
  • The move to “X” raises questions about the extent of Yaccarino’s authority at the company. Musk was clearly behind the rebranding given his fascination with the letter X since his earliest days as an entrepreneur, having been ousted from his x.com online banking company that eventually became PayPal. Yaccarino briefed investors on Sunday on Twitter’s plans to collaborate more with Musk’s newest company, xAI; yet another sign of Musk’s relentless grip of power. — The New York Times
  • Musk is giving up huge brand equity in renaming Twitter, argued former Wall Street Journal columnist Walt Mossberg, considering words like “tweet” and “Twitter” are enshrined in today’s digital ecosystem. “Companies change names all the time. But popular products, rarely,” he wrote. Axios business editor Dan Primack said that Mark Zuckerberg was “smart enough” to retain the Instagram, WhatsApp, and Facebook brands despite changing his company’s name to Meta.
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