Be Tech Ready!!

Elon Musk sets Twitter bird free to make room for new opportunities; Will his gamble work?

While Elon Musk is known for his bizarre antics, no one saw his latest move coming. The eccentric billionaire rebranded Twitter’s globally recognized blue bird logo to “X.” The company’s headquarters now display the fresh stylized X logo. Musk also playfully hinted that tweets would now be referred to as “X’s” instead. The rapid implementation of the new logo showcases Musk’s commitment to his vision for the service.

The punt could’ve cost a significant loss in the company’s brand value. However, if branding and marketing experts are to be believed, Musk’s seemingly reckless move might be a leap in the direction of an “everything app.”

Is Elon Musk Trying To Make The Next WeChat?

After taking over the microblogging service last year, Elon Musk shared his aim for an everything app dubbed X, which will provide users with a one-stop solution for entertainment, communication, shopping, and much more. Even before taking the wheel at Twitter, the Tesla CEO expressed his desire to develop a service similar to China’s WeChat.

WeChat has an enormous user base thanks to its user-friendly user interface and practicality for daily use. Elon Musk’s rebranding of Twitter seems to align with his vision to offer a platform that can potentially revolutionize social media and how users incorporate it into their daily lives.

The seeds of the rebranding of Twitter could be traced back to the inception of the original, which Elon Musk launched in 1999. Musk aspired it to be a financial service, and although the platform might have evolved into what we know now as PayPal, the idea of introducing an all-in-one platform seems to have influenced Musk in rebranding Twitter to X.

Rebranding Twitter To X Could Fall On Elon Musk’s Face

Despite Elon Musk’s long-standing aspiration and the hefty amount he had to shell out to own the social networking service, rebranding Twitter into a super app can be highly risky for the organization. Musk’s decision to ditch the iconic blue bird for the sake of his vision comes with a fair share of risks.

With X, Elon Musk aims for a comprehensive platform that could lock horns with the likes of WeChat. The rebranded social network could offer different services, including shopping, booking, chatting, and making payments. However, developing such a platform isn’t a cakewalk, as it requires overtaking a plethora of financial and competitive hurdles, not to mention Twitter’s current position compared to its rivals. Elon Musk’s journey ahead doesn’t look smooth.

Besides, the demand for a super app like WeChat outside of China still hasn’t met the mark. Previous attempts to create a similar platform to offer shopping features have either suffered a terrible fate or experienced a sluggish adoption rate. That said, Musk will have to think outside of the box to convince users outside China to embrace the idea of an “everything app.”

Can Elon Musk Build A Super App With Short Staff Woes?

While Elon Musk is determined to transform Twitter into a super app, certain things cannot be ignored. Since Musk took charge of the company, he has laid off around 80% of the staff, including core advertisers and people who did not support the new policies.

And, if Musk wishes to create a WeChat rival, he would require manpower. Moreover, Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta, recently announced the rival app Threads, which experienced unprecedented success at first, but has since fizzled out. But it still adds further competition to Elon Musk’s aspiration for Twitter.

This means until Musk brings some major changes to the platform, his decision to ditch Twitter’s iconic brand is considered risky for the company. But Elon Musk is surely aware of that! Probably that’s why he’s experimenting with new features on the platform.

What Is Elon Musk Working On Secretly?

For the past few weeks, Twitter seems to be quietly working on introducing a payments business dubbed Twitter Payments. Not just that! The company has even received money transmitter licenses in four US states, including Michigan and Arizona, hinting towards Musk’s commitment to promoting financial services on the platform.

Besides, the billionaire is also interested in pushing longer videos on the platform, hinting at a potential shift in Twitter’s content strategy moving forward. Musk also wants Twitter to trim down its reliance on ad revenue. To do so, a paid verification feature was introduced. While the strategy didn’t exactly go how Musk must’ve planned it, the feature still managed to rake in a decent number of subscriptions so far.

Even if Musk manages to bring new features to the platform, achieving the same success as WeChat in Western markets isn’t guaranteed. As per a report by Deloitte, one-stop services that offer digital payments and ride-hailing have already witnessed well-established players in Western markets, which leaves very less room for a single dominant super app to emerge.

And, let’s not forget that Facebook’s 2019 gamble of launching its digital currency and payments system was met with heavy scrutiny from regulators and eventually failed to take off. TikTok and Instagram had to take a step back from their vision of introducing e-commerce features to their respective platforms after these initiatives failed to pique users’ interest.

Legal Challenges Await Elon Musk

Elon Musk’s unconventional rebranding of Twitter might not raise legal challenges as well, especially when he tries to get trademarks and defend the brand. This could pose difficulties as numerous brands are using the letter “X.” Even if he manages to get his hands on those trademarks, pitting them against other brands with similar names, including the ones owned by Microsoft and Meta, could be one helluva task.

Despite all these hurdles, Elon Musk remains steadfast in his vision to make Twitter an “everything app” that would try to replicate WeChat’s success in European markets. But it remains to be seen whether X will stand the test of time or crumble like previous attempts from well-known players in the industry.

Vishal Kawadkar
About author

With over 8 years of experience in tech journalism, Vishal is someone with an innate passion for exploring and delivering fresh takes. Embracing curiosity and innovation, he strives to provide an informed and unique outlook on the ever-evolving world of technology.