Renaming Twitter to ‘X’ is proving to be the dumbest branding mistake of the year.
In recent weeks, I’ve seen countless articles and opinion pieces making fun of the change, which eliminated almost two decades of brand recognition in an instant.
The jokes usually go like this:
While covering the change in brand name, commentators almost always refer back to Twitter. In many cases, they refer to a tweet as an ‘X’ or that a post has been ‘X’ed’ instead of retweeted, but as they continue explaining this head-scratching move, writers like me usually slip back into calling the company Twitter, eventually mentioning a tweet or retweet — and abandoning the whole X idea. The X-shaped sign that sits atop the company’s headquarters is also referred to, as are the constant reminders of Elon Musk’s fascination with the letter. (I haven’t seen too many comments about SpaceX for some reason.) In other words, it’s all pretty ridiculous.
A few of the social media experts I talked to refused to even mention X. They just think it’s dumb. For one thing, it’s hard to remember. In casual conversation, if you say you have ‘X’ed’ a post, you usually have to explain what it means. For the casual social media user, if you mention the company X, it sounds confusing — like a placeholder for a real company. “Have you tried the X app?” usually leads to blank stares. This is after the news that Twitter changed its name has spread widely.
People don’t seem to care. People want to keep using Twitter.
That’s why I want to throw out this challenge.
Since Elon Musk loves polls, I’d like to see one asking users if he should revert the name back to Twitter. Honestly, there’s no way to predict how people will react, since I’m basing my assumptions on a few experts and pundits who have called the rebrand and renaming a mistake. Also, polls on Twitter (I mean, X) conducted on Musk’s feed would not really be ideal, since people know he likes the name. And yet, it’s the only way. Musk is surrounded by millions of fans, so if anyone challenges him, it would send a strong message.
My prediction? He will not do it, I predict. He’s already made the change, and the company has already auctioned off Twitter branded items.
Meanwhile, someone has to take a stand — it might as well be me. I’ll keep calling the company Twitter for now, and reference the official rebranded name. That’s what I’ve been doing recently anyway, and it certainly leads to a lot less confusion.
Maybe I’ll be wrong and the name X will catch on with users. It could be the app Musk has always wanted. Perhaps the tweet is finally dead.
I doubt it.
What is going to happen? We’ll just move on, ignore the X company, and find something else to talk about. Threads, anyone?