Will Musk's rebranding damage Twitter?

Elon Musk this week introduced he was scrapping Twitter’s iconic chicken emblem and renaming the social media platform X. “Quickly we will bid adieu to the Twitter model and, progressively, all of the birds,” he declared in a tweet. Employees instantly began taking the Twitter log out the corporate’s San Francisco headquarters. They relabeled convention rooms — scrapping bird-related names like Aviary, Tern, Bluebird, Canary, and Mallard — with names like “eXposure,” “eXult,” and “s3Xy,” based on The New York Instances.

The billionaire Musk is utilizing a letter he clearly loves — it is within the title of rocket firm SpaceX and one among his electrical automobiles, the Mannequin X, at Tesla. He even named one among his children X. The rebranding follows a collection of controversial modifications Musk has made on the social media firm since shopping for it in October. He has laid off 6,000 workers (80 p.c of Twitter’s workers), modified and began charging for badges supposed to confirm customers, and invited again customers, together with former President Donald Trump, who had been banned for violating guidelines on selling violence. 

Many Twitter customers scratched their heads. Some critics known as the brand new title and emblem, an angular, stylized X, chilly and off-putting. Advertising and marketing gurus stated Musk was throwing away an iconic model that’s price billions. Making a model a verb is the “holy grail,” Mike Proulx, a vp and analysis director at Forrester, instructed The New York Instances. “The app itself has turn into a cultural phenomenon in all kinds of how. In a single fell sweep, Elon Musk has basically worn out 15 years of brand name worth from Twitter and is now basically ranging from scratch.” The platform previously generally known as Twitter is already dealing with main challenges, like dwindling advert income and Meta’s launch of rival app Threads. Is Musk dooming his personal firm by scrapping its helpful model?

Musk has made Twitter a ‘zombie’

Twitter has been formally killed by its “unhinged proprietor,” stated Oliver Darcy at CNN. “A zombie Twitter, recognized solely as X, reluctantly endures. A warped and disfigured platform, X marches on like a White Walker, an unpleasant shell of its former self below the command of a loathsome chief.” Musk has single-handedly reworked Twitter from a “fountain of authoritative info” right into a platform “the place trolls will pay a small price to have their ugly content material boosted forward of respected sources.” On X, “journalists are banned or smeared whereas essentially the most repellant and dishonest voices are elevated.” The foundations are unclear; the infrastructure is crumbling. X has none of Twitter’s model recognition however all of Musk’s “poisonous” baggage that has pushed away customers and advertisers. 

It is oddly becoming that Musk is changing the user-friendly “Twitter birdie” emblem with the chilly, angular X, stated Virginia Heffernan within the Los Angeles Instances. Musk’s plans for the corporate clearly do not name for a “cute or optimistic or uptilted” picture. “The title X and a extreme, black emblem are extra apt for no matter baffling and galactic storm-trooping Musk desires to do along with his interplanetary empire.” With harmful synthetic intelligence set to quick change extra cuddly social media, possibly it is good to embrace design that claims “maintain out” moderately than “are available.” If “Twitter-turned-X is poisonous,” it is perhaps good, for customers if not the corporate, that its emblem “recollects the skull-and-crossbones on cartoon bottles of poison.”

Musk desires to construct one thing larger than Twitter

Musk is dumping the Twitter model as a result of he is out to construct one thing larger, stated Arjun Kharpal at CNBC. He stated in October that he was spending $44 billion to purchase Twitter  as an “accelerant to creating X, the the whole lot app.” Individuals have in contrast his imaginative and prescient to a made-in-the-U.S.A. model of China’s WeChat, the world’s “greatest tremendous app” operated by Chinese language expertise big Tencent. WeChat lets its 1.3 billion customers ship prompt messages like Meta’s WhatsApp, however it additionally presents funds and a solution to entry e-commerce, banking, and different apps. However “making an attempt to show X into something like WeChat goes to be a mammoth process,” significantly as a result of Musk will not profit from “the elements that [have] helped the Chinese language app’s success — together with China’s ‘mobile-first market'” and Beijing’s blocking of potential overseas rivals like Twitter and Google.

Musk has already failed, stated Jennifer Rubin at The Washington Publish. He spent billions on a longtime firm and turned it “right into a cesspool of disinformation and hate speech,” dropping “greater than two-thirds of the corporate’s worth.” He is not constructing one thing larger; he is presiding over the demise of one thing whose time has come, and gone. “Merchandise and industries exit of trend; clients spend their cash elsewhere.” If you happen to run an important firm, “maintain helpful workers productive and please clients,” you “develop and earn a living.” If you happen to “create havoc,” hearth your staff, and “annoy clients,” your workers discover work elsewhere, and new rivals — like Meta’s new Threads app — pop as much as fill the hole. So when “rotten house owners” like Musk fail, it is only a signal that capitalism is working because it ought to.