Twitter is Officially X

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It’s done. Twitter is now officially X in every aspect, including its x.com domain. The news about the name change was shared on the platform early Friday morning by owner Elon Musk under his official handle. The X.com login page also has a new message:

“Welcome to x.com!

We are letting you know that we are changing our URL, but your privacy and data protection settings remain the same.
For more details, see our Privacy Policy:
https://x.com/en/privacy

*Although here at team illumy, we noticed embedded links still redirect from Twitter.  Get on that, Elon!

The domain name transition was the final piece of the puzzle for Musk and his favorite brand name. The name change transition began in August of last year but had quite a lot of hiccups along the way, with the site URL not properly redirecting for all browsers. Now it seems the transition is complete for the social network, and the latest step to solidify Musk’s reign in the social media global marketplace. Let’s take a look at how this all happened.

The Decision to Rebrand

The decision to transition the Twitter brand to a simple X wasn’t made overnight. Over the past few years, Twitter has faced numerous challenges, from managing misinformation and abusive content and dealing with its negative cash flow by exploring new ways to monetize its user base. After the acquisition, hundreds of Twitter employees quit in protest. Despite these hurdles, Twitter has remained a cornerstone of digital communication, with millions of active users worldwide. Within weeks of ownership, Elon killed the iconic bird logo and took it in a completely new direction: a simple X on a black background. The logo change faced public backlash by critics and fans alike.

The rebranding to X represented a strategic pivot aimed at revitalizing the platform and expanding its horizons. According to company insiders, the new name reflects a desire to break free from the constraints of traditional microblogging and embrace a more versatile, multi-functional identity. The letter “X” symbolizes the unknown and the limitless possibilities the platform envisions exploring.

Why X?

X Corp, SpaceX, Tesla Model X, X AE-12. Musk’s obsession with the name X began decades ago. In 1999, he founded an online banking startup and named it X.com. That company ultimately merged with Confinity and he became the CEO of the new company PayPal. His wishes for the X.com domain were short-lived, but he never gave up the dream. During the Twitter acquisition, Musk founded X Corp in 2023. His whole concept has always been transforming X into a super-app similar to China’s WeChat.

Addressing Public Perception: Over the years, Twitter has faced criticism for various issues, including the spread of fake news, harassment, and algorithmic biases. The rebranding provides an opportunity to reset public perception and signal a renewed commitment to user safety, transparency, and innovation.

Attracting New Users: By reinventing itself as X, the platform aims to attract a broader demographic, including younger users who may prefer more visually-oriented or interactive social media experiences. The new identity is designed to appeal to a generation that values versatility and creativity in their digital interactions. X also launched premium subscription services including “blue subscribers.” A blue checkmark appears on eligible profiles subscribed to Premium or Premium+ tiers after a manual review.

​Updated Features

The rebranding to X is more than just a change of name and logo and domain. It heralds a series of updates and new features that aim to enhance user experience and expand the platform’s capabilities.

1. Enhanced User Interface: The new X platform will feature a redesigned user interface that prioritizes ease of use and accessibility. The sleek, modern design aims to make navigation more intuitive, allowing users to find and share content effortlessly. The interface will also be more customizable, enabling users to tailor their experience according to their preferences.

2. Multimedia Integration: One of the most anticipated changes is the integration of more robust multimedia features. X will support higher-resolution images and videos, live streaming, and even augmented reality (AR) experiences. These enhancements will allow users to create and consume richer, more engaging content, transforming the platform into a hub for visual storytelling.

3. Long-Form Content: While Twitter has traditionally been known for its 280-character limit, X will introduce options for long-form content. This change reflects a growing demand for in-depth discussions and detailed posts, catering to users who wish to share more comprehensive insights without the need for external blogging platforms.

4. E-Commerce Capabilities: X plans to incorporate e-commerce features, enabling users to shop directly from the platform. This integration will allow brands and influencers to sell products seamlessly within their posts, creating a more immersive shopping experience. Users can expect to see shoppable tags, product recommendations, and virtual storefronts, turning X into a social marketplace.

5. Improved Security and Moderation: In response to ongoing concerns of weaker content moderation, X claims to have implemented enhanced security measures and more sophisticated content moderation tools. These updates aim to reduce new threats of harmful content and provide a safer environment for all users. The platform will leverage artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to detect and address abusive behavior more effectively.

The Industry Reaction

The rebranding of Twitter to X has elicited a mix of reactions from users, industry experts, and competitors. Some view the change as a necessary evolution, applauding the platform’s efforts to innovate and stay relevant in a rapidly changing digital landscape. Others are more skeptical, questioning whether the new features will be enough to overcome the challenges Twitter has faced in recent years. Last summer, Musk also installed a new sign: a giant brightly-lit X atop its San Francisco headquarters. It was dismantled less than 48 hours after installation due to permit violations.

Supporters’ Perspective

Supporters of the rebranding argue that X represents a forward-thinking approach that aligns with the needs and preferences of modern users. They believe that the platform’s expanded capabilities will attract new audiences and provide existing users with more value. The integration of multimedia and e-commerce features is seen as a natural progression, reflecting broader trends in the social media industry.

Critics’ Concerns

On top of the URL change, many critics have called X one of the worst re-brandings in history. They worry that the fundamental appeal of Twitter—its simplicity and immediacy—may be diluted by the introduction of more complex features. Additionally, some users are concerned about the platform’s ability to manage and moderate the expanded content effectively, given its history of struggles in this area.

As X embarks on this new journey, the platform faces the challenge of balancing innovation with its core identity. The rebranding success of the social media site will depend on how well the company can integrate new features while maintaining the essence that made the Twitter name popular in the first place.

Photo By Sawyer Merritt

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