Social media has encountered a rather sudden shakeup as one of the most popular platforms for short-form text and video content has had a surprising renaissance, and to many, it’s not the good kind. In fact, it’s proven to be quite a disruption in the already tumultuous existence for the former favorite website for avian enthusiasts: Twitter.
Twitter, the “microblogging” site with a conversational focus on brief text or image exchanges, is the long-time namesake of the shorthand, “Tweet about it.” Founded in March of 2006, the familiar, flighty blue icon (which is actually a minimalist depiction of a mountain bluebird Sialia currucoides) has a designated spot on the home screens of millions of users worldwide.
The problem is, the fowl that flew across the world isn’t roosting on our home screens and bookmark bars anymore. Instead, we see a black background, and a white “X” atop it (Technically, it’s the Unicode character known as a “Mathematical Double-Struck Capital X,” residing at codepoint U+1D54F). This is the latest in a slew of changes the bird-website Twitter has gone through since its acquisition by Elon Musk.
This rebrand is the latest in a long string of “X”-related obsessions. From the original title of the banking platform now known as PayPal, to Elon’s own flesh and blood, a growing number of things that should not be named X have been named X. Sharing a problem with many a list of contacts, this blog post itself contains far too many X’s. All of it in the pursuit of a so-called “Everything App,” Twitter’s brand-death at the hands of the SpaceX billionaire was just a stepping stone on the road to an idyllic factotum of services from banking, blogging, authentication and more, in the hopes of fulfilling a perceived lacuna of functionality.
The rebranding, and other changes, such as the slashing of nearly two-quarters of staff, have been received poorly by much of Twitter’s user base. This, and the recent release of Meta’s new Threads platform, has led to a noticeable decline in Twitter’s adoption that it has enjoyed since its conception and launch over 15 years ago. The truth is: There’s just no stability anymore, and people are picking up on it. From policy changes like Twitter Blue becoming a paid subscription service, to numerous handles being hijacked by the company during its rebranding phase, Elon’s dream is costing people their enjoyment of the platform, and for seemingly no real gain.
Should you be worried about how this will affect your business’ online presence? Our simple answer: Not really. Our best advice in the short term is to continue monitoring the news surrounding the platform formerly known as Twitter, and look for any signs of stabilization. These will likely not appear until there is a change in leadership, but even then it may be too late for the once-great social network to reign supreme once again.