The internet is buzzing with mixed reactions as Twitter, now reborn as X, announced its transformation.
X.com is now the new Twitter.com, and the app proudly displays “X” in the Apple and Google app stores.
According to the CEO Linda Yaccarino, “The rebrand is another step in the ongoing transformation of Twitter, once an online watering hole for hyper-connected people that is aiming to become an app that can do EVERYTHING”.
In a tweet, the company’s billionaire owner, Elon Musk, stated, “Twitter was acquired by X Corp. both to ensure freedom of speech and as an accelerant for X, the everything app. This is not simply a company renaming itself, but doing the same thing”.
He further explained, “The 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. In the months to come, we will add comprehensive communications and the ability to conduct your entire financial world. The Twitter name does not make sense in that context, so we must bid adieu to the bird”.
What’s the plan for the new app?
We got a glimpse of what Twitter might become when Twitter-X CEO Linda Yaccarino stated that “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.”
Musk’s vision for Twitter is to become a super-app, something similar to China’s WeChat. As of now, there’s no American counterpart for such an app, but experts envision an app that allows users to fulfil any online task.
Twitter already enables live audio chats, text messages, and video broadcasts. If Twitter’s foray into paid subscriptions succeeds, it may consider sharing subscription revenues with users.
The letter X is a constant in Musk’s ventures, such as naming his first startup X.com (Post-merger, the app became PayPal).
You can see the letter X in many of Musk’s other companies as well, like SpaceX, the recent AI app xAI, and Tesla’s Model X.
Even his son with singer Grimes is named X Æ A-XII – pronounced X.
What does this mean for Twitter?
For now, the rebranding is simply a name change — no new features have been rolled out, aligning with Musk’s apparent strategy of creating hype first, followed by product delivery.
But the name change implies Musk is likely to retain control of the company for the foreseeable future.
After Musk’s takeover in April 2022, there was speculation that he might bring some changes to Twitter and quickly pass it on to a different owner.
With the name change, that possibility seems to be off the table.
What are the possible hurdles?
An “everything app” could have many problems, like confusing users or not attracting enough advertisers.
Adding new features like shopping and paid subscription content could actually help Twitter in the long term by giving it more ways to make money and making it less dependent on big companies’ spending, analysts said.
But in the short term, they would need to spend a lot of money on staff and technology. It’s not clear if a company that has cut a lot of its staff and is now facing lawsuits over unpaid bills can do that.
“The investment is a lot in terms of cloud infrastructure — we’re talking about $40 billion, $50 billion in upfront investments,” Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Mandeep Singh said. “Twitter as a standalone app doesn’t have the infrastructure to become an everything app.”