Last month Elon Musk announced that Twitter’s new name is X.
The name change is supposed to mark the platform’s evolution from a social media tool to an “everything app” that includes banking, e-commerce, and expanded social features.
According to author Walter Isaacson, Musk has been on a mission to make fetch X.com happen since 1999. That year he launched the site offering a range of digital finance products, and the site eventually merged with another company becoming PayPal.
Since the initial version of X.com didn’t exactly revolutionize the financial system Musk is hoping to try again, this time using Twitter as the vehicle to do so. But does this evolution make sense for the app formerly known as Twitter?
From a media standpoint, there are a lot of implications.
Since its launch in 2006, Twitter has shaped how people learn information and communicate with one another. When news broke, Twitter was often the first platform people would go to for a quick pulse on major headlines. Or when Instagram got glitchy, the hashtag #InstagramDown would immediately trend on Twitter.
As the changes to the platform keep coming, it is no longer a platform for immediate information.
With major news publications leaving the app, and competitors entering the marketplace, the way users engage with Twitter is beginning to shift. However, it’s going to be difficult to fully rebrand.
After all, Twitter isn’t just a platform — it’s also a verb and a noun. For example:
- Pieces of content shared on the platform aren’t posts, they’re tweets.
- Users aren’t posting when they use the platform, they’re tweeting.
- They retweet when they want to amplify a message.
The intention to call these things x’s has yet to catch on among users.
What happens to Twitter’s most notable communities during the transition to X?
Few things have been as broadly influential as Black Twitter. From #BlackLivesMatter to #OscarsSoWhite, Black Twitter users have been at the forefront of notable movements related to social justice and popular culture.
What’s now unclear is where Black Twitter goes when Twitter is no longer Twitter and what happens to the culture it has heavily influenced.
While we don’t yet know what exact features are included in X’s “everything app” future state, it sounds like the platform will be shifting into everything but what users originally signed up for.