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Elon Musk, Arnold Hall, Colorado Springs, CO
Elon Musk. Photo credit: Trevor Cokley / Wikimedia (PD)

Elon Musk is rebranding Twitter, and everybody now has to pretend that this is the result of careful planning and not the whims of a billionaire.

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Ever since he bought Twitter last year, billionaire Elon Musk has been accused of running the popular social media platform into the ground with changes that make it more attractive for users who share his right-wing ideology while diminishing the experience for everybody else.

But Musk may be having the last laugh. Sure, the company’s value has dropped more than half since he purchased it for $44 billion, and advertising is down significantly; but the mercurial businessman may have found a way that ensures that he is not, in fact, running Twitter into the ground.

On Sunday, he announced that he would rebrand Twitter and call it “X.” And then he is going to run that into the ground.

It is unclear what business purpose it would serve to take away Twitter’s iconic name and bird logo, but when you are a billionaire, you don’t need reasons, you just do what you want. 

And Musk loves the letter “X” — so much so that he named one of his kids X Æ A-12 Musk… because he is a totally normal human being.

Hilariously, his employees and supporters now have to pretend that Musk is a visionary and not a big weirdo.

Take new Twitter X CEO Linda Yaccarino. Giving off some “the emperor has new clothes” vibes, she made it sound like this is an Xcellent idea by an Xtraordinarily brilliant mind and not the whim of guy who has a favorite letter.

In a series of tweets, which will supposedly soon be called Xes (because people love hearing from exes), Yaccarino touted the upcoming changes.

“X is the future state of unlimited interactivity — centered in audio, video, messaging, payments/banking — creating a global marketplace for ideas, goods, services, and opportunities,” she Xed (in essentially describing the internet). “Powered by AI, X will connect us all in ways we’re just beginning to imagine.”

It stands to reason that she can’t imagine any of this at all because it’s all just happening in Musk’s head right now.

In addition, it seems unlikely that the same people who have seen their user experience deteriorate since Musk took over will flock to the new site to trust it with their payments and banking.

None of that stops Yaccarino (who may want to change her name to Xaccarino for job security purposes) from enthusiastically Xplaining how X will be awesome.

“There’s absolutely no limit to this transformation,” she Xed. “X will be the platform that can deliver, well….everything.”

The reason why this all sounds a bit vague and half-baked is because it probably is.

Take the new X logo.

“If a good enough X logo is posted tonight, we’ll make go live worldwide tomorrow,” Musk Xed on Sunday.

Now you may not be familiar with corporate branding, but usually, this type of thing involves experts, focus groups, and extensive testing, not the company owner looking at images, clapping his hands, and saying: “I like this one! I like this one!”

You have to feel for the employees who survived the great Twitter purge of the past year and now have to act thrilled about all of this in order to keep their jobs.

And then there are the usual Musk sycophants who actually believe this is all just great. Like Gail Alfar, an “independent journalist on Twitter,” who responded to Yaccarino’s post in Xuberant fashion.

“X is a gift to humanity & we are grateful to you for all you are doing. Thank you,” she Xed.

Thank you, indeed; this will all be very Xciting.

Author

  • Klaus Marre

    Klaus Marre is a writer, editor, former congressional reporter, and director of the WhoWhatWhy Mentor Apprentice Program. Follow him on Twitter @KlausMarre.

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