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The Unbelievably Fumbled Rebranding of Twitter

As you may have heard, Twitter has rebranded itself as X.

And it’s amazing how poorly it’s been handled.

Whether it’s a good idea or not is not the point.  It’s obviously a bad idea.  Twitter has decades of brand value and public consciousness, whereas X means…nothing.  Or maybe worth than nothing, as it has all sorts of negative connotations, porn being chief among them.

And of course the collateral verbiage is now lost.  I might tweet something but I would…ah…post it on X?  The same way I’d post it on Facebook or Instagram.  Or maybe share it on X.  The same way I’d share it on Facebook or Instagram.  So after achieving the highly desirable state of having a verb of your own creation that echoes your brand becoming a commonly used word, you…throw it away?  Why?

But let’s say there is some universe where it made sense to throw away the Twitter brand and replace it with X.

You’d at least want to handle that important transition correctly.

But no.

Check this out:

Twi…er, X had no idea that the Apple app store does not allow single-character app names.  So weeks were lost while they appealed their case and had to go through Apple bureaucracy to get an exception.

Then once all that was cleared up, the app was placed in the app store…and no one could find it.  Why?  Here’s what it looked like:

X Blaze Your Glory

Does that say “social network” to you?  Or “former Twitter”?  Sure, if you read Platformer every day you’d know about the change but for millions of average users, this meant nothing.

It’s since been corrected and now the app reads X – “formerly Twitter”.

Which of course means that many more people still think of X as Twitter than think of X as X.

Twitter had been in the top 25 most-downloaded apps, but fell almost instantly at time of rebrand down under 60.

A recent poll showed that 69% of Twi…er, X users still prefer the name Twitter to the name X.

I have a feeling future business schools are going to be using the X rebranding as a case study of how not to rebrand.


1 Comment

  1. I cannot stand the name “X” … what a mistake!

    October 7, 2023 @ 1:21 pm | Reply

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