Twitter has been in hot water for quite some time.
Over the last year, the company has paid over $150 million for failing to protect consumer data, a data breach exposed over 200 million users, and Meta launched a new app, Threads, that directly competes with Twitter.
Now, in the last week, the company’s owner Elon Musk has decided to rebrand Twitter to “X.”
What’s different so far?
For starters, typing in Twitter.com on your browser will now redirect you to “X,” while the opposite is also true – typing in X.com will take you to Twitter. The bird logo has been removed from Twitter headquarters in San Francisco and replaced with the new X logo. Musk has also changed his handle to “X.”
However, in terms of the capabilities users have grown accustomed to, there haven’t been any changes as of yet. Tweets are still called just that, and replies, mentions, and retweets haven’t changed yet either.
“Twitter was acquired by X Corp both to ensure freedom of speech and as an accelerant for X, the everything app,” Musk posted on X. “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 does this mean for consumers?
Social media experts weighed in on the Twitter rebrand and what this means for consumers and the future of social media.
“I think the most crucial thing Twitter users, now X users, need to be mindful of is what Elon Musk wants the platform to ultimately transform into,” David Triana, account executive at Delight Labs, told ConsumerAffairs. “Musk said last year that he wants X to be a platform that could be used for just about anything and everything in your daily life (communication, shopping, banking, entertainment, etc.), which would inevitably mean linking a lot more of your personal information to the platform. Could that lead to more of a data risk? Sure, but that risk is associated with nearly any platform on the internet.
“A curious thing to keep in mind will be if this rebrand turns users off of the app and points them in the direction of Threads, or any other up-and-coming social media app,” Triana continued. “I think longtime users will stick around, especially those in media and entertainment since it has really become intertwined with their daily work. With that being said, if this becomes something where Musk is making these seemingly random decisions and users start to wonder what the actual endgame is, it could lead to an exodus that might be more substantial than people think."
Emily Zinberg, director of social media and digital marketing at 3E Public Relations also had data privacy concerns about the rebrand. She told ConsumerAffairs: “Elon Musk and Twitter CEO Linda Yaccarino have both referenced adding a banking and payment element to X, allowing users to ‘conduct your entire financial world.’ If this is true, X will need to step up its data security protections to make users feel more comfortable interacting with these new experiences. Twitter’s privacy issues are no secret, and consumers should do their due diligence into how that will be addressed as X unveils new features.”
As for now, consumers may not have much adjusting to do when it comes to the latest iteration of Twitter. However, the future of X, and how consumers interact with it, remains a mystery.
“The rollout of the new logo happened quickly, not giving consumers much time to understand what was happening, if it was happening, and how it would impact their user experience,” Matt Caiola, Co-CEO of 5WPR, told ConsumerAffairs. “The good news for consumers is that the rollout of the rebrand seems to have slowed, allowing us all more time to understand what exactly will be changing.
“Until we see major upgrades on how we utilize the platform, we don’t predict the vernacular to change any time soon. Until issues like trademark infringements are officially out of the way, we’ll still be ‘tweeting'.``