Elon Musk was in love with the letter X for a long time.

Now is killing the Twitter brand and the iconic blue bird in favor of X as part of an effort to turn his $44 billion acquisition into something that is truly his.

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Musk’s vision for X is something similar to China’s WeChat, a super app that people can use for entertainment and shopping for goods and services online, in addition to posting updates and messaging their friends. But the renaming comes after months of erratic behavior from the world’s richest man turning off users and pushed the advertisers awayThis puts Twitter in a problematic financial situation and is increasingly vulnerable to competition.

Killing an iconic internet brand is “extremely risky” in an age of competing apps like the new one Instagram threads and smaller upstarts such as Blue sky attract users, said Mike Proulx, an analyst at Forrester.

Musk “once erased the name of a brand that has secured its place in our cultural lexicon for fifteen years,” Proulx said in an email.

A company spokesman did not comment for this story.

It’s not a completely surprising move. Musk has already transferred the name of Twitter to X Corp, itself a subsidiary of X Holding Corp, as revealed in April. submission to court. Musk he said last October, just before buying Twitter, he viewed the $44 billion deal as an “accelerator to create X, the app everything.”

The letter X features prominently in the name of Musk’s rocket company SpaceX. And more than two decades ago, X.com was the name of Musk’s payments company, which eventually became PayPal through a merger with a then-competitor.

Name changes have become quite common among well-known web companies. Facebook has become Target in end of 2021and Google accepted Alphabet nickname six years earlier. In these cases, however, the newly appointed parent companies retained the branding of their core services, so Facebook users and Google searchers could continue their work without interruption.

Musk seems to be betting that he can get rid of Twitter altogether. Over the weekend, he unveiled a new X logo and tweeted that “soon we’ll be saying goodbye to the twitter brand and gradually to all the birds”.

Linda Yaccarino, who Musk hired as CEO in May, said in an email to employees On Monday, as the company “will continue to delight our entire community with new experiences in audio, video, messaging, payments, banking — creating a global marketplace for ideas, goods, services and opportunities.”

Succeeding in this mission is easier said than done.

Musk’s desire to turn X into a super app requires “time, money and people” that Twitter “doesn’t have anymore,” Proulx said. Earlier this month, Musk he said that Twitter has suffered a 50% drop in advertising revenue and that it needs to “get cash flow positive before we can afford the luxury of anything else.”

Some advertisers have become concerned about promoting their products on Twitter due to reports showing an increase in hate speech and racist and abusive comments on the platform. documented by many human rights groups and researchers.

Musk has tried to offset some of the advertising decline with a premium subscription service. But at $8 a month, the company would need tens of millions of subscribers to break even.

Advertisers who remain on the platform must now adopt the new jargon. People and businesses around the world know messages on Twitter as “tweets”. Like Kleenex, Twitter was able to develop a recognizable brand that was instantly recognizable to consumers, a feat that any corporate marketing team would celebrate.

Ralph Schackart, an analyst at William Blair, told CNBC last week that his team of analysts “got nothing” from the advertisers they approached in a recent survey. survey in the digital advertising market, which would indicate that these businesses have increased their spending on Twitter. Meanwhile, there are signs that the overall digital advertising market may be improving, according to research by William Blair.

Insider Intelligence analyst Jasmine Enberg said in an emailed statement that the name change marks “a gloomy day for many Twitter users and advertisers” and “a clear signal that the Twitter of the past 17 years is gone and not coming back.”

“Twitter’s rebrand is a reminder that Elon Musk, not Threads or any other app, is and always has been the most likely ‘Twitter killer,'” Enberg wrote.

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