Twitter or X? No one probably knows. Everything is going towards the social network being called X, but the changes are being introduced very gradually and very roughly. First, they changed the logo, and then they started to remove references to Twitter from the official pages step-by-step, so there are still many Twitter artifacts. This doesn’t look like a thought-out rebranding but a spontaneous decision. And that’s exactly what it is.
But the problem isn’t even so much that Twitter is a mess. It’s certainly not cool, but on the whole, it’s not terrible.
In some ways, it even has its own charm; everything feels as if you are not visiting the platform of a large corporation but some cozy blog where the author redesigns on his knees and in real-time.
Even the logo was changed several times in a row, slightly changing its drawing.
But that’s not the main thing; the problem is that the name X is really bad.
Why is it bad?
Oh, come on. For starters, it’s IMPOSSIBLE TO PRONOUNCE. What do I call a social network? Hey, did you check out X today? It’s such an interesting thread there; people have left so many Xs!
It’s absolutely not a brand because it’s just a letter. It’s hard to brand a letter, especially if it’s one of the most used letters in the world.
Everyone likes X; everyone uses it. It’s used in the names of smartphones, cars, shampoo, hotel rooms, and so on. This letter is really cool as part of a product name. But not as a brand in itself.
And I intentionally don’t want to touch on the question of whether the name change was even worth it, given that Twitter is one brand that pretty much everyone knows. That’s the details; that was Musk’s decision, and we accept it. But here’s why a new name isn’t cool:
- It’s a bad name for the brand as a whole. It’s too short. While often brands are struggling to come up with something short, X is too short. It’s just unpleasant to say. Try it yourself; come up with 3-4 sentences with the new platform name, and say them out loud. Now do you understand what I’m talking about?
- It’s a bad name to make derivative words out of. You know, like googling, tweets, tweeting, and so on. They’re not necessary for a social network, but Twitter has already developed a vocabulary of what to call things or actions. Musk is proposing new ones, such as calling tweets x’s. But you have to agree; that sounds pretty weak.
- It’s a bad name for what Musk wants the platform to be. “An app for everything” means its audience is virtually limitless. And the name should be simple enough to appeal to anyone: the geek who spends all day online and your grandmother who has barely mastered YouTube. X doesn’t sound very friendly to those people.
- A new name is hard to find. It may not seem like a big deal, but being found on other social networks, search engines, and text is important too. X is too non-unique to be a good search target. Searching for X, I don’t even get any news about the rebranding, but 4 movies at once on IMDB and on Wikipedia.
- And finally, well, it really sounds like something to do with adult sites. Huh.