From Twitter to X: the risks and implications of rebranding

Barbara Sacchiello

July 27, 2023 – 17:14

Rebranding Twitter X

(Credit: Yalcin Sonat/Shutterstock)

There have been many criticisms – and also the jokes – that has permeated social networks in recent days, since Elon Musk announced the disappearance of the blue bird and the rebranding of Twitter to Threads.

Although it came as a surprise to users – who are still trying to get used to the new logo, with the letter X in white on a black background – change social networkHowever, it was already showing some signs.


Brands tease Twitter’s move to X

Since taking over the company in October 2022 — after buying it for $44 billion — Musk began making it clear that the social network would take a different path. First, all verification badges previously granted to users were removed. Since then, only those who pay for Twitter Blue, the platform’s premium subscription, are entitled to verification and other features, such as posting longer texts.

In late June, another change also startled the Twitter community. The platform said that ordinary users, who do not pay for the Twitter Blue subscription, will have a limited number of daily views of posts. The measure, however, did not go ahead, but further encouraged uncertainty about the use of the social network.

In this context, by the way, Mark Zuckerberg accelerated it Thread release, Meta text social network. Connection-driven, connected to Instagram, the new platform has broken subscription records. In five days, more than 100 million users created their profile. However, public interest seems to have waned over the next few days. According to a Wall Street Journal report published this week, engagement on the platform is down 70% compared to July 7.


The bird is out, the X is in: Elon Musk announces new name and logo on Twitter

Twitter and rebranding from the bird to X

On Sunday, 23, Elon Musk announced that the social network will be renamed X. The new name follows the universe of X Corp., the new holding company created by the entrepreneur and registered in April of this year.

The next day, those who used Twitter on the web version no longer saw the blue bird icon. In its place, the letter X appeared in black. Already in the app, the previous logo is still displayed.

This week, Musk also managed to move the platform’s official profile to @x, as well as take over the domain, which automatically redirects to the social network’s page.

A change of this magnitude is considered subtle by branding experts, especially since it involves a platform that has become iconic in the social media environment.


Threads has new features 20 days after launch

“Many people who will feel orphaned in this process will find it difficult to accept it,” explains Marcelo Bicudo, CEO of Design Bridge and Partners Brasil.

From the executive’s point of view, surprising everyone with such a transformation might not be the best way to go. “At the end of the day, an iconic name and brand is being traded for a new brand, which seems a bit generic,” he points out.

The new X brand and super app concept

Shortly after the visual identity change was announced, Twitter’s headquarters in the United States designed the X, showing that the new era Elon Musk intended was, in fact, in the offing. From what the international press found out, since when he acquired the platform, the entrepreneur had proposed turning it into a super app, something similar to WeChat, from China.

In this new structure, in addition to social interaction and the ability to publish texts, photos, audio and video, users could also carry out financial transactions, order delivery or make purchases.


Twitter limits views and users criticize Elon Musk

If the proposal is, therefore, to change the proposal of the social network, a radical change in the brand and visual identity is something understandable, in the opinion of Luciano Deos, CEO of the brand and experience consultancy Gad.

The expert defends that a new business direction requires a disruptive transformation in the brand as well and believes that there will be no adjustment problems on the part of users. “We are in the digital world, where everything is simpler. The person who enters Twitter will automatically land on the X app and start browsing it, having other service and content experiences in the future. I see no difficulties in assimilation. On the contrary, the change will make it easier for the user to understand that a new brand will bring him other experiences,” he bets.

Microsoft and Meta already have X trademark registrations

Shortly after Elon Musk and the Twitter CEO Linda Yaccarinohaving introduced X as the new name of the platform, news emerged that the same name had already been patented by other companies in the tech universe.

Both Meta, owner of Facebook and Instagram, and Microsoft have registrations for trademark X. In the first case, this registration was made for use in the social network environment. Microsoft would have registered X on behalf of Xbox.


Twitter CEO comments on Threads and suggests ‘mimicking’ the contest

“Generally, you cannot co-brand with another product or service owner in the same domain or current segment. The same brand X cannot be in different social networks because it is necessary, by registration, to create a distinctive symbol of a product or service. Therefore, this Meta record in particular could bring problems for Elon Musk and Twitter, explains Walter Gaspar, a researcher at the Center for Technology and Society (CTS) of the Getúlio Vargas Foundation in Rio de Janeiro.

In this regard, the researcher explains that Meta can, in court, challenge Twitter’s use of brand X, arguing that this brand belongs to it, in this domain, and that its use by another company could to confuse consumers.

X and uncertainties of Twitter and social networks after rebranding

MBA professor in marketing and digital business at FGV, Thiago Muniz, lists some reasons why brands in general promote a rebranding of their visual identity. Among them are the change of values ​​and philosophy, repositioning in the market, launching other types of products or services, updating to stand out to consumers or even in cases of merger with another company.

“I’m not sure which or which of these options fits Musk’s strategy with Twitter, but the next step after the changes will certainly be to measure public feedback and the financial impact of the action,” Muniz elaborates.

The idea of ​​creating a hyperapp is not new to Silicon Valley. It is necessary, however, to understand that the peculiarities of the Chinese market do not guarantee that WeChat’s success there can be replicated in other markets. “Today it would be very difficult to consolidate so many services that work well separately on a single platform,” points out Andrea Janér, CEO of innovation content platform Oxygen.

But no one can forget that, despite the criticism, it was Elon Musk who was behind the idea of ​​PayPal and the creation of companies like Tesla and SpaceX, which changed the course of their respective fields, as Andrea recalls.

“It’s possible he has a masterplan in his head and we’re only watching part of it unfold before us. As much as it seems obvious that he is committing insanity, we cannot forget that he was considered by many to be one of the geniuses of our time, like Steve Jobs,” he concludes.

#Twitter #risks #implications #rebranding

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