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What ‘X’actly was the point? A peculiar rebrand

Social media seems to be a double-edged blade nowadays. The connectedness and

community it offers is inspiring at times, uniting creators, family and friends around the world.

Internet culture, however, can be just as toxic as it is supporting. There is something endearing about a picture or video that from an objective point of view makes no sense but in human culture can widely be agreed upon as being funny. 

In the new digital age, the scope of the globe and distance of existence all seem a lot smaller, whether that be a good or bad thing. I have tried to limit my social media presence in order to eliminate distractions, really only still using a handful of apps, chiefly among those being Twitter. Well… what used to be Twitter. I still call it that, and so does everyone I know. Elon Musk acquired the social media platform and late last July conducted a widespread and abrupt rebrand, changing the iconic Twitter blue bird to a simple “X.” Many changes involving the user algorithm, new free speech guidelines and creator monetization and pay were implemented, while the general interface of the app remained the same. However, half a year after Twitter’s rebrand, die-hard, day-one Twitter fans like myself now face an online identity crisis — what exactly to call the place of mayhem and conjuncture that not so long ago was Twitter?

As times change, so do logos and brands. Another app many will be familiar with is

Facebook, which recently changed its parent company branding to Meta but kept its iconic

name. Instagram is also under the Meta umbrella but retained their separate identity as well.

Which makes sense — the entire app is built around its identity as Facebook, the first true major online social media site. That's what makes Elon Musk's decision that much more peculiar. He’s trying to tie the app into X corp with his other businesses, like SpaceX and Tesla. Unified brand identity is one thing, but not if the existing product was already massive in its own right. The term “tweets” is still widely used: what is the alternative? Xs? That doesn't quite roll off the tongue the same way. From a marketing viewpoint, the rebrand certainly seems baffling and even pointless. It reads as Musk trying to be quirky and different. While diving into the issue, I couldn't help but think of the old adage, “If it’s not broken, don’t fix it”.

The vision is there. A unified “everything app” for video, news, content, art, etc. Quixotic perhaps but bold innovation is Elon’s specialty. However, the execution leaves much to be

desired. In a world where image is everything, a sudden upheaval of a legendary logo is a head scratcher indeed. Only time will tell if the name X will ever really stick with youth familiar with Twitter since its inception in 2006. In the meantime, rest in peace to our dear blue tweety bird.

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