Twitter is now X: What does it actually mean?

Twitter is now X: What does it actually mean?
August 31, 2023

Twitter is now X: What does it actually mean?

Twitter, the social media platform known for its short messages called “tweets,” got its name from a combination of words reflecting its core concept. 

The name “Twitter” was suggested by one of the co-founders, Jack Dorsey, who wanted a word that conveyed the idea of short bursts of information being shared rapidly, much like birds chirping.

The Larry bird is no more Twitter’s logo.

The Larry Bird, named after the legendary NBA basketball player Larry Bird, is no more the logo of the social network Twitter. The new logo is a big stylized X.

In a sequence of announcements on Sunday, July 24, Elon Musk, the owner of Twitter, unveiled rebranding of the company. What lies behind these notable transformations, and what should we expect next?

Musk’s explanation of the new name

The Twitter owner explained that its previous name made sense when it was just 140-character messages going back and forth – like birds tweeting. Now, users can post almost anything, including several hours of video. He also said that comprehensive communications and the ability to conduct users’ entire financial world will be added in the coming months.

With the letter X, Musk described an app that could combine social media, messaging, and payment services, similar to the famous Chinese app WeChat.

App for everything

Twitter CEO Linda Yaccarino wrote that the rebranding represents an exciting opportunity since Twitter has left a huge mark and changed how we communicate.

Yaccarino wrote, “X will be a platform that provides everything.”

Excelling in just a few supplementary services, such as shopping or payments, might be all that’s required to elevate X beyond the level Twitter achieved. Nevertheless, the landscape already boasts numerous alternatives, so Musk and his team engage in a substantial game of catch-up.

Musk is also looking after super applications such as India’s PayTM or Indonesia’s GoJek, which have been extremely popular for the last few years. These applications allow users to pay for a wide variety of services.

Potential problems with the letter “X”

On July 24, Elon Musk posted a photo of the company’s headquarters with a projection of the new logo, a letter X.

A decision to rebrand Twitter with the letter X could be complicated from a legal perspective because companies like Meta, which owns Facebook, or Microsoft already have intellectual property rights to the same letter.

Given the widespread use of X in trademarks, there exists a possibility of encountering legal disputes if Musk pursues registration of the same symbol.

According to Josh Gerben, an attorney specializing in logo protection, the likelihood of someone taking legal action against Musk for this is virtually inevitable. Gerben notes that he has identified nearly 900 active registered X trademarks in the United States.

Not all believe in X project’s success

Jennifer Grygel, a specialist in social media, doubts Musk’s ability to bring forth the innovative vision of Twitter implied by this rebranding initiative.

She mentioned that Musk had compromised the integrity of Twitter by opting to eliminate the blue verification checkmark that conferred profiles with an aura of authenticity. Significant layoffs and the subsequent re-granting access to problematic platform users followed this.

Grygiel also shared with NPR that she is still determining whether users have enough confidence in it to facilitate financial transactions via this application. 

Until now, experts’ responses have largely leaned toward the negative side. However, in contrast, Elon Musk has gained notoriety through audacious and daring decisions. Only time will reveal which perspective proves to be accurate.

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