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The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

‘X’ will always be Twitter to me

Elon Musk’s social media rebrand was a poor business decision
Klara Dhandili

X, formerly known as Twitter, is one of the most popular social media apps of our generation. People go to X for outrageous opinions, poorly delivered and biased news, questionable content or if you’re me, cool pictures of cars.

Whichever way you look at it, X is one of the most used social media applications, boasting an immense 368 million active monthly users as of December 2022, according to Statista. That’s more users than there are U.S. residents.

Whether you like him or not, Elon Musk, owner of X, is one of the most prolific mind of our generation. He is an innovative genius. Musk’s company engineered the leading electric vehicle manufacturer in the world, Tesla. He also is in control of what is quite possibly the most innovative and prominent space program in the world with the introduction of self landing rockets, SpaceX.

Despite the success of his other businesses,  X is a sinking ship. When Musk bought the platform last year, most people thought he was making a huge mistake. Turns out, he was.

After Musk acquired X in October 2022, it lost 50% of its advertising revenue, Musk announced on the platform over the summer. We can only speculate as to why advertisers are pulling out of X.

Musk does not have the greatest public image, from smoking marijuana on the Joe Rogan Experience to his association with Kanye West. This is a huge loss. Musk probably assumed he could recover by completely rebranding the whole company to what is now X.

This might be the worst rebrand and recovery idea ever made by a business. This is worse than X’s prior endeavor, Twitter Blue, which allowed users to pay for the blue check mark, a signal of verification for the app.

One of the biggest issues is name association within the app. There are a lot of sayings that came from the name Twitter. Phrases like “tweets” and “retweets” helped turn the name of the application into its whole brand. These words became a part of daily vocabulary for some users. When you think of the word “tweet,” odds are that you think of Twitter and not the sound a bird makes.

Now, the expectation is to call Twitter postings generic “posts” and “reposts.” This completely removes the personality that Twitter had developed for its users.

On top of all the linguistic issues, X has a bot problem. There’s a high chance that many users are bots or artificial intelligence accounts that post methodically.

Research done by the University of Southern California and Indiana University put the amount of bots on the platform between a whopping 9% to 15%. This leads to an issue with ad revenue. Because a significant amount of users on X are bots or AI-generated accounts, the advertisements that companies pay to be posted on X go mostly unnoticed. Audience reach is limited on the platform, causing investors and advertisers to be reluctant about spending money on the site.

Issues with the platform in addition to the strong opinions against Elon Musk create a moral dilemma of “should we support a platform run by a man that some people hate?” Moreover, Musk does not seem to know how to actually run a social media company, as he laid off 80% of the workforce to save money early on, per CNN. This was a really poor public relations move.

Musk seems compulsive when he needs to be calculated and struggles to make logical business decisions. He seems to gravitate towards the letter X. The Model X, SpaceX, X, and even his son’s name, X AE A-XII. Could it be part of a bigger conspiracy? Probably not. But there is definitely an argument that can be made that Musk doesn’t make decisions based on rationale, but more based on whatever he wants to do.

So that brings to light another question; is Musk truly a genius? He must be smart enough to run all of these businesses and have them not completely fail and sink into the ground.

He owns several that are the leaders in their industries: Tesla, SpaceX and now X.

The company itself has seen consistent profit loss and a repetition of poor PR moves that continue to tarnish Musk’s reputation. However, because of the popularity of Twitter prior to Musk’s rebranding, X still maintains its notoriety in the social media industry. Though with the direction Musk has taken it, who knows how much longer that will last.

At the end of the day, Musk seems to make a lot of bad business decisions and behaves as if he is a kid with a lot of money. He made a terrible choice to rebrand Twitter. It is a bad business decision and no one will refer to Twitter as X. It will always be Twitter.

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