Elon Musk rebrands Twitter to ‘X’

Lungile Msomi
By Lungile Msomi, ITWeb journalist
Johannesburg, 24 Jul 2023
Reports of the death of X have been greatly exaggerated.
Reports of the death of X have been greatly exaggerated.

Twitter owner Elon Musk has signalled he will change the social media brand from Twitter to X.

Since Musk bought the social media platform in October, the company has changed its business name to X Corp, reflecting the billionaire's vision to create a "super app" like China's WeChat.

Commenting on his decision to change Twitter to X, Musk tweeted a picture of himself, saying: “Not sure what subtle clues gave it away, but I like the letter X.”

In 2001, was renamed to PayPal, an American financial technology company operating an online payments system. Online auction company eBay bought PayPal in 2002. Musk repurchased the domain name from PayPal in 2017.

Twitter CEO Linda Yaccarino said in a tweet “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.

“X is the future state of unlimited interactivity – centred in audio, video, messaging, payments/banking – creating a global marketplace for ideas, goods, services and opportunities. Powered by AI, X will connect us all in ways we’re just beginning to imagine.”

Among the changes being made to the Twitter brand, Musk said in a post on Sunday he wanted to change Twitter’s logo to an X and polled his 149 million followers on whether they would be in favour of changing the site’s colour scheme from blue to black.

“And soon we shall bid adieu to the Twitter brand and, gradually, all the birds," he said.

Reacting to news of the change, one user expressed that changing the Twitter brand is not a good idea: “I think the only thing saving Twitter was its brand equity and recognisability/history. Once you remove that, you just have a terrible app that fundamentally doesn’t work and that’s full of bots. Advertisers will flee and so will users.”

In contrast to the majority of negative tweets on the change, others expressed excitement over the rebrand, with one user saying: “Loving the new look for Twitter. Thanks, Elon.”

Musk has made various changes to the social media platform since he bought it. The company most recently prompted widespread criticism from users when Musk said there would be limitations on how many posts can be read by users per day.

The limitations set by Musk helped Meta’s Threads app, which closely rivals Twitter, to reach 100 million sign-ups within five days of its launch.

The tech billionaire has also been making moves in the artificial intelligence (AI) space, with the launch of his AI firm xAI last week.

Musk launched the firm after months of saying he would build a rival to OpenAI’s ChatGPT. The AI firm is led by Musk and comprises former employees from US technology firms, such as OpenAI, Microsoft Research and Google Research.

Musk co-founded OpenAI, the company behind ChatGPT, in 2015, but stepped down from the board in 2018. His new AI firm will be separate from X Corp, but will work closely with X (Twitter) and Tesla.