How renaming Twitter X could block Musk’s plan to turn the network into a financial super-app

London – Twitter’s rebranding took the world by surprise and upset a large number of agora X users, who are now saddened or revolted by the end of the name associated with the blue bird that ended up becoming a verb, synonymous with posting a message.

This association between image, word and use of a product or service is not easy to achieve.

However, Elon Musk dumped that asset at the top and decided to start from scratch by renaming the social network, which could have implications for its future as a financial super-app.

Twitter rebranding and financial hyper-app

The rebranding was attributed by many to another whim of the eccentric entrepreneur who once smoked weed during an interview and loves the letter X, using it as the name of his new game.

Would he be capable of it?

The richest man in the world has already shown, for better or for worse, that he is no ordinary businessman. You have to recognize that no one becomes a billionaire at their age without consistency.

Therefore, the direction Twitter signaled when it announced the rebranding – turning the platform into much more than a social network, monetizing financial services – would even make commercial sense and be in line with the path of two giants, WeChat and of TikTok. .

The former is a do-it-all app used by over 1 billion Chinese people every day for almost every need in daily life. It is the third most powerful brand in the world, according to the Media 50 report by consultancy Brand Finance.

TikTok, under pressure in the US and at risk of being forced to change ownership in the country, announced in April that it would invest “billions of dollars” in Indonesia, mainly in advertising and supporting brands interested in using its e-commerce platform to sell products through connections in broadcasts.

X was not pleasing users

But the market hasn’t bought Elon Musk’s version of Twitter’s rebranding, which many are calling vandalism or property destruction out of sheer rage.

There is no indication that Musk’s goal was to make Twitter profitable without relying on advertising or subscription sales when he defied a board that didn’t want him as an owner and bought the social network for $44 billion last October.

He even talked about over-applying, but there was nothing concrete in that regard. His narrative was different, centering on the idealism of turning Twitter into “a digital public square where vital issues for the future of humanity are debated.”

Even if he changed his mind when he saw the size of the financial hole, the fragility of the super-app offering is suitable for those who gamble on the idea of ​​whimsy or evil, destroying a brand that the world loved before it took control – revenge against rejection.

In one of the posts about the rebranding, Linda Yaccarino, CEO of Twitter, said that the future of X will be “unlimited interactivity, focused on audio, video, messaging, payments and banking, creating a global marketplace for ideas, goods, services and opportunities.” But it stayed there, with no details about that future.

Rebranding Twitter for X and brand trust

Critics of the purported super-app design have pointed out that the context of WeChat, the inspired model, is radically different. It brings together various government agencies and others from Tencent holding companies, which has thousands of employees linked to the Chinese Communist Party.

Some recalled that Mark Zuckerberg also tried a super-app ten years ago and failed – this was when there were still no restrictions on data privacy as they are today.

On his side, Musk has financial expertise. His first company X created PayPal, which was sold on eBay.

But it takes brand trust to convince customers to put their resources into an app or sign up to shop there. And it was she who Twitter skyrocketed in one day by doing a rebranding that enraged its users.

The results were quick. The loss of the firm’s brand value can range from $5 billion to $20 billion, depending on the consulting firm.

If it’s any consolation, if ex-Twitter and now X dies, it won’t be the Twitter that many people loved. He was buried in October 2022, currently leaving no heirs.

The social network Threads da Meta exploded in downloads in the first days, but it is not implemented, as Mark Zuckerberg himself said in a conversation with employees this week.

Twitter was so good that nobody managed to copy it, not even Jack Dorsey, one of its founders, the current owner of Bluesky. Like other efforts like Threads and Mastodon, the social network has not achieved the reach and influence of Twitter.

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