X: Twitter’s transformation under Elon Musk to become an ‘everything app’

Ever since Musk has taken over the social media platform Twitter, the internet has been abuzz. Just a few weeks back, Twitter announced a name change to X. Users are now redirected from twitter.com to X.com. The brand’s headquarters now sports an X logo replacing the twitter bird logo. If you look up your Apple or Android phone, your Play Store will reflect an application called X. This rebranding is another step towards Twitter’s transformation ever since Elon Musk took over. Massive changes in the organizational structure have been in place for a few months now.

The CEO of X, Linda Yaccarino mentioned that the intention behind the change ‘’is to symbolize a new era for the former Twitter, where there’s a limitless platform beyond posting, messaging, and following other accounts.’’ Adding to this the brand’s new owner Elon Musk said “Twitter was acquired by X Corp both to ensure freedom of speech and as an accelerant for X, the everything app”
“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,” he added.

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Why X?

Many have traced Musk’s tweet back in October 2022 post acquiring Twitter where he quoted ‘is an accelerant to creating X, the everything app’.

In March 2023, Musk merged Twitter Inc. to the newly registered X Corp. A month later it was reported he had created a new company dedicated to AI called X.AI.

The CEO of X quoted- “X will be the platform that can deliver… everything’. In a series of posts, she has suggested that this rebranding has offered X to make an impression on the users. Nodding to Musk’s post about building a super app that will be powered by AI and will include audio, video, messaging, payments, banking, and more. All in one application.

The letter X can also be traced back to Musk’s first venture in 1999. He founded a financial start-up X.com that later became PayPal. Musk later went on to start SpaceX and launch Model X under Tesla.

The Vision

Once a pioneer in microblogging, Twitter has recently undergone a significant transformation. The most prominent one is its name change to X. This move is a decisive shift in the brand’s identity.  Musk’s vision is to turn the app into something like China’s WeChat. While there is no American counterpart to the Chinese application, Musk envisions creating X into one where a person can basically do anything online with one application. Elon Musk himself unveiled the new name to the world with his tweet – Goodbye Blue bird, hello X!

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The current changes on the platform X:

> As Musk took over, Twitter changed its earlier word limit of 140 characters. It allowed users to engage in live audio conversations, chat with longer texts, and broadcast their videos.

>Let’s not forget the most critical change has been replacing the brand’s name and logo. From replacing the iconic blue bird with a simple X. The new logo is a bold and minimalist white X set against a black background.

>Last December, Twitter Blue was launched. A premium subscription service that offers benefits like the coveted blue tick indicating a verified Twitter account. The price for the blue tick for individuals starts at $8 per month. For organizations to maintain the blue tick will cost a whopping $1000 per month with an additional $50 fee for each affiliate or employee account. The premium Twitter Blue offers an extended character limit as well as 25,000 characters.

> There is a new feature for creators to make money on the platform called Subscriptions. Creators can set their monthly price for Subscriptions, choosing from three options: $2.99, $4.99, or $9.99.
Once creators make this choice, there is a ‘Subscribe’ button on their profile. Subscribers can enjoy exclusive tweets, notifications, and content from the creators they subscribe to.

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A 10% cut from this will go to X, formerly Twitter, after the first launch year.

> Open Source everything. Elon Musk pledged to make ‘literally everything’ open source on X. His pledge to this transparency is for public/ community involvement. Allowing developers to pitch their ideas to X and even be able to use the algorithm in their own application.

> The platform also announced to ban on accounts that link to rival social media accounts like Facebook, Instagram, Mastodon, Truth Social, and others. Tik Tok was not included in the list of rivals.

> The brand also made news to drop the block feature from the applications and fix the shadow banning issues to have full transparency.

These changes are based on a few main aspects namely,
> making the platform an everything platform,
> a fully transparent platform, and
> expanding its revenue sources. The subscription model, and the blue tick are both examples of how the brand is aiming to move beyond the traditional ad-based revenue only.

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Since the name change to X, no new feature has been launched for the platform. By watchers are sure there is more coming to this rebranding as it aims to become the super app.

The Internet divide and other implications

The Apple Store initially had a policy of not allowing applications with fewer than two characters. However, it later adapted to cater to the global audience, allowing Apple product users to access X.

Many experts like Eric Seufert, a media analyst, have noted that this rebranding has decreased app downloads significantly. The stark change from Twitter to X with its logo replaced was not well known to everyone. Hence did not help the brand’s case when people searched for Twitter on their app stores.

On how X will take on the marketing and advertising for the rebranding:
Aaron Goldman, Chief Marketing Officer for Mediaocean, an advertising partner of Twitter said to CBS News “If you look at what Tesla’s done in terms of advertising, which is very little, [Musk’s] belief is that good product sells itself and you don’t need to advertise it. Meanwhile, you have many, many large brands and companies that spend millions of dollars on Twitter and would beg to differ,”

Though a significant user base continues to utilize the app, opinions on it are polarized on the internet. Experts suggest that as X introduces new features, only time will reveal whether it can truly live up to its aspiration of becoming a super or an everything application.

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