Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past week and a half (or, more likely, on vacation), you’ve probably heard about Twitter owner Elon Musk’s latest act of disruption: rebranding the social media platform to X.

The unexpected move was accompanied by invitations from Musk to design a new logo – but not much else in the way of explanation, as University of Leeds branding communications expert Jamie Marsden points out. He reads between the lines in this article to analyze what the change could say about Musk’s “everything app” plans.

On the other hand, Queensland University of Technology’s Cameron Shackell argues the change goes much deeper than the everything app – could Musk be testing the waters for a completely different pivot later this year?

The new name and logo certainly spawned a lot of online discussion and this article explains how the reaction reflects our feelings about brands. But many users have simply carried on “tweeting” – or X'ing, as Musk has suggested the act of posting on the platform should now be called. But the rebrand to X has still “missed the mark,” according to Matthew Pittman of the University of Tennessee. “Logos and brand names change all the time and rarely cause this much commotion,” he says – citing Lego and Meta among many other examples. “But because these changes go deeper than most, I believe the risks of damage to the company are greater.”

Pittman also points out that, as well as facing potential legal issues and tech glitches, the change might exacerbate a reported outflow of users concerned about offensive content in recent months. A specialist in the psychology of advertising from Lancaster University, Leslie Hallam, also explores how it could affect this dark side of Twitter in his recent article about the X rebrand.

Pauline McCallion

Senior Business Editor, The Conversation U.K.

Twitter’s rebrand to X shifts the focus to Musk’s ‘everything app’ plans but here’s why he might have moved too early

Jamie Marsden, University of Leeds

Musk has completed the ultimate act of disruption to Twitter by rebranding the platform. Here’s what that means for the future of the company and its users.

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