Bury the bird, rule the world? Musk unveils new official logo, fears explode over China We-Chat copy-cat

Whether it has flown the coop or bit the dust, social media users had strong reactions as Elon Musk unveiled the new logo for his social media platform.

A quick announcement over the weekend that led to the seemingly sudden rebrand of Twitter to “X” was far from the spontaneous move many made it out to be. Though seeded throughout the world’s richest man’s path to success, the shift that did away with the blue bird triggered “RIP Twitter” to trend from doomsayers and supporters alike.

As previously reported, Musk had warned “And soon we shall bid adieu to the twitter brand and, gradually, all the birds,” encouraging participation in logo design to accelerate the change.

His criteria appeared to be met as Sunday the logo changed on the platform to a stylized X and lit up the side of the company’s office building in San Francisco. CEO Linda Yaccarino joined the hype for the platform as she posted, “Lights. Camera. X!”

“It’s an exceptionally rare thing — in life or in business — that you get a second chance to make another big impression,” she had posted earlier in the day. “Twitter made one massive impression and changed the way we communicate. Now, X will go further, transforming the global town square.”

“X is the future state of unlimited interactivity — centered in audio, video, messaging, payments/banking — creating a global marketplace for ideas, goods, services, and opportunities. Powered by AI, X will connect us all in ways we’re just beginning to imagine,” Yaccarino went on before adding “There’s absolutely no limit to this transformation.”

Biographers of the billionaire have documented his many uses of the letter in branding, dating back to his early entrepreneurial days when he first launched X.com, which through a merger later became PayPal.

Ashlee Vance, the author of “Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future” told NPR “Everyone tried to talk him out of naming the company that back then because of the sexual innuendos, but he really liked it and stuck with it.”

Prior to acquiring Twitter in 2022, Musk had purchased the URL once more in 2017 and had said at the time, “Thanks PayPal for allowing me to buy back X.com! No plans right now, but it has great sentimental value to me.”

His fanfare for the 24th letter of the alphabet extended to his family, as he and musician Grimes had named their first child together X Æ A-12, most often referring to the boy as X.

“Whether it’s kind of mysterious, like something pulled from a comic book, or ‘X marks the spot,’ it’s hard to know with him. It also just kind of sounds cool,” said Wall Street Journal reporter Tim Higgins, author of “Power Play: Tesla, Elon Musk, and the Bet of the Century.”

For some, Musk’s aim to create something new promised excitement as the social media platform owner had foreshadowed at the time of purchase, “Buying Twitter is an accelerant to creating X, the everything app.”

For others, there was nothing but disdain and grief as, in one fashion or another, users asked, “Twitter is rebranding to X and I can’t help but ask Y.”

It doesn’t take much digging to find warning signals from “in-the-know” followers of Musk. Here is one tweet that explains the fear best:

In 1999, @elonmusk

co-founded X.com, aiming to revolutionize banking online. A merger with Confinity in 2000 paved the way for PayPal’s emergence. Fast forward to 2022, Musk acquired Twitter for $44 billion, driven by his mission to revive freedom of speech on the internet and fulfill X.com‘s original vision. In 2023, Twitter will merge into X.com, birthing the “everything app” – a visionary platform seamlessly blending banking, payments, social media, encrypted messages, voice calls, and video services worldwide. With Twitter’s communication prowess and X.com‘s cutting-edge financial services, users will be able to switch effortlessly between social interactions and financial transactions, transforming how we manage money and connect with others. All on a platform that fiercely champions freedom of speech. In Elon’s own words, “If done right, X would serve people’s financial needs to such a degree that over time it would become maybe half of the global financial system or by far the biggest financial institution except not in the way that people are use to thinking about banks. The most efficient database for money with the least amount of fraud. Everything is real-time. If it involves money, it can be dealt with seamlessly in one location. In addition, you got the social media element, which is also people sharing information of various kinds, whether it’s text, video, picture, or voice. There is a lot of potential to make a product that is very compelling that combines all of these things.” What are your thoughts on Elon Musk’s bold vision for X.com?

 

Kevin Haggerty

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