Elon’s Risky Gamble: How Rebranding Twitter To ‘X’ Could Harm The Social Media Giant


Marketing experts and industry insiders warn that the rebranding could have serious repercussions for the once-thriving social media giant

In a bold move that surprised the digital world, Twitter’s owner Elon Musk declared that the popular social media platform would undergo a radical rebranding. The move came into effect on Sunday as the platform replaced Twitter’s iconic blue bird logo with a fresh and distinct ‘X’ logo on the platform’s website. This marks a new era for social media platforms as a whole as Twitter, a household name known for its iconic blue bird logo and the act of “tweeting,” is now set to be known as simply “X.”

While Musk’s vision to transform the platform into an all-encompassing “everything app” might seem ambitious, marketing experts and industry insiders warn that the rebranding could have serious repercussions for the once-thriving social media giant.

According to a Bloomberg report, analysts and brand agencies say that Musk’s decision could result in a staggering loss of value, estimated to be anywhere between USD 4 billion and USD 20 billion.

But Hitarth Dadia, Partner & Chief Marketing Officer at NOFILTR.GROUP, believes that Twitter’s rebranding could be a positive one. He notes, “Twitter has revealed a striking new ‘X’ logo that reflects its innovative mindset. It highlights Twitter’s dedication to creating connections and enabling people to have meaningful conversations. The X in the logo symbolises the coming together of technology, engaging users, and new leadership. This exciting change paves the way for the future of digital communication.”

While Dadia’s optimism may seem encouraging, it is essential to consider the potential negative consequences of this drastic shift. Gaurav Thakur, Founder at Getsetfly Media and an Animeta creator, raises concerns about the impact on creators and their established online presence. He says, “I approach Twitter’s rebrand to ‘X’ with cautious optimism. While it may prove to be a positive step for the company, there’s also the possibility of it backfiring.” 

“As a creator, I’m closely observing how this rebranding unfolds. It appears to be a bold move by Twitter to redefine its identity and explore new directions as a platform. However, I can’t ignore the concerns it raises among creators who have built their brand around the familiar Blue Bird logo,” Thakur adds.

Indeed, Twitter’s bird logo has become an iconic symbol representing the platform’s core identity. Users worldwide associate the logo with the platform’s unique way of broadcasting ideas and engaging in conversations. The sudden replacement of this well-recognised logo with an enigmatic ‘X’ could lead to confusion among users, eroding the brand’s long-established recognition.

Thakur further explains that creators often rely on recognisable symbols and aesthetics to establish their online identity. With such a significant change in branding, creators may face difficulties adapting their branding strategies and may witness a decline in their value and online presence. The rebranding could potentially alienate the community of creators who have been contributing significantly to Twitter’s vibrant content ecosystem. Such an alienation could also help Meta’s newly launched Threads which seems to be losing millions of followers by the day. 

Moreover, the legal implications of adopting the letter ‘X’ as the new brand name also pose a considerable risk for Twitter. The letter ‘X’ is already widely used and cited in trademarks by various companies, including Meta and Microsoft. This could lead to potential legal conflicts over intellectual property rights for the new branding, creating additional hurdles for the company during the transition.

While Elon Musk’s vision to transform Twitter into a multifunctional app for audio, video, messaging, payments, and banking might be innovative, it is crucial for the platform to consider the impact on its loyal user base. The hashtag “#GoodbyeTwitter” trended on the platform, indicating that many users are not ready to bid farewell to the familiar bird logo and the concept of “tweeting.”

The success of any rebranding effort lies in ensuring a smooth and seamless transition for users and creators alike. Twitter must actively engage with its community, addressing their concerns and providing adequate support to maintain their individual identities and thrive during this period of transformation. Afterall, Musk did say that all major changes on Twitter would happen with user consultation at one point after acquiring the platform. 

This article first appeared on businessworld.in

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