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Thursday, August 03, 2023

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By Rebranding Twitter as X, Elon Musk Creates Social Media Confusion - The New York Times

So What Do We Call Twitter Now Anyway?

"With Elon Musk’s rebranding of the app, is Twitter’s name really retired? What about tweets? We unravel the terminology puzzle.

A photo illustration shows a bird in a glass display box with a black X superimposed over it.
The rebranding has been hair-raising for Twitter fans, who embraced the company’s iconic blue-and-white bird logo and used a bird-related lexicon when talking about the platform.Illustration by Zak Bickel/The New York Times; images by Shutterstock

With a simple name change, Elon Musk has created confusion in social media.

The bewilderment stems from Mr. Musk’s move last month to rebrand Twitter, which he owns, as X. No major social media app has undergone such a name change before, at least while it had tens of millions of active users.

In 2016, Snapchat dropped “chat” from its corporate name, but kept the app’s name unchanged. When Facebook changed its parent company name to Meta in 2021, it also left the name of its flagship social network alone.

The rebranding has been hair-raising for Twitter fans, who embraced the company’s iconic blue-and-white bird logo and used a bird-related lexicon when talking about the platform. A tweet referred to a post; tweeting was a verb for posting, and sharing another person’s post was known as retweeting.

Some people have wondered if the X name will stick, especially with the word tweets still appearing on the site. The app’s home button is also still shaped like a birdhouse, and the company’s website — at least for now — remains

So is the Twitter name retired? And do we now call a tweet a “xeet” or “xcerpt”?

Really, what do we call Twitter now?

Sorry, die-hard Twitter fans, it’s X.

X said its app would definitively be called X going forward. In marketing copy, the company declared, “The X app is the trusted digital town square for everyone.” The app has a new slogan, too: “Blaze your glory!” (Twitter’s previous tag lines included “Let’s talk” and “It’s what’s happening.”)

The Associated Press also updated its stylebook, which many regard as the gold standard, to reflect the name change. It suggested that media outlets call the company and its social media platform “X, formerly known as Twitter.”

Mr. Musk had laid the groundwork for the name change for some time. When he bought Twitter last year, he formed a new parent company, X Corp., for the transaction.

In other words, people are now using X, an app by X Corp.

Workers began removing Twitter signage at the company’s offices last week.
Jim Wilson/The New York Times
The Twitter signage has since been fully removed.
Jim Wilson/The New York Times

Mr. Musk is slowly purging Twitter’s brand digitally and physically. While still sends users to the service’s familiar home page, so does, indicating that the website could soon change. The bird branding that adorned the website and the app has been eradicated.

Mr. Musk also briefly erected a light-up X sign atop the company’s San Francisco’s headquarters last week. (It was removed this week after a permit dispute.) And he replaced the bird-themed names of conference rooms at X’s offices with X-themed names including “eXposure,” “eXult” and “s3Xy,” and ordered the removal of bird logos around the building.

What do we call tweets?

Tweets are now posts. In the same app update that wiped out the bird logo, the company swapped its classic blue “tweet” button for one that says “post.”

Some users have proposed other names for posts. One suggestion has been “xeets” (pronounced zeets), an X-themed play on tweets. Others suggested “xcerpts.” None of these terms seem to have caught on in a big way, at least so far.

Some of the app’s other monikers may also change. Retweets are likely to become reposts, while quote tweets — which refer to retweets that add one’s own commentary — may just become comments or quote posts.

Why did this change happen?

Mr. Musk has long been enamored with creating a company called X. In 1999, he started, an online bank that later merged with the electronic payments service PayPal. Nearly two decades later, he bought the website back from PayPal.

Mr. Musk has said he envisions X as an “everything app” that will allow users to share social media posts, order dinner and transfer money. Taking over Twitter was just the first step, he said.

“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,” Linda Yaccarino, the company’s chief executive, posted last month.

What happens if I can’t shake off the Twitter name?

We get it! It will take time to adjust colloquially to X. The Twitter name and its bird-related vocabulary have been used since 2006 and were embedded in popular culture.

The change may be especially difficult since “it is extremely rare for consumers to develop a lexicon around a brand,” said Mike Proulx, a vice president and research director at Forrester. “It would be viewed as an advantage in most circumstances because it suggests a deepening of the brand-consumer relationship.”

Now Mr. Musk has to create that relationship with the X brand, even as some users insist they will stick to the old terminology.

“A lot of people are confused about what to do now that Twitter has been officially rebranded as X, and I thought I’d write up a helpful guide for those of you struggling with change,” one user recently wrote. “You keep calling it Twitter and pretend you do not see it!”

By Rebranding Twitter as X, Elon Musk Creates Social Media Confusion - The New York Times

Tuesday, August 01, 2023

‘SHUT IT OFF!!’ Disruptive new ‘X’ logo removed in San Francisco

‘SHUT IT OFF!!’ Disruptive new ‘X’ logo removed in San Francisco

Construction crews dismantled the giant, blinking ‘X’ logo after 24 complaints were logged with the city

A large X logo is visible on the roof of the headquarters building of the company formerly known as Twitter in San Francisco. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

“SAN FRANCISCO — Construction crews dismantled a giant “X” sign atop the downtown building where the company formerly known as the Twitter has its headquarters Monday, after residents here complained of a bright flashing light that disturbed them throughout the night.

“SHUT IT OFF!!” read one of two dozen complaints to the city’s Department of Building Inspection about the sign. “It is currently flashing rapidly and extremely brightly. It is creating a massive nighttime nuisance and making it hard to sleep.”

Such is the latest chapter in Elon Musk’s chaotic rebrand of Twitter into “X,” which first caused headaches for its hometown last week when the company illegally tried to remove its original logo from the outside of the building. Then, over the weekend, the company affixed a giant X above the building, prompting 24 complaints about its structural safety and bright lights, according to the Department of Building Inspection.

On Monday, several residents of neighboring buildings said the blinding, flashingstrobe light above the building in downtown San Francisco was so strong that shades were not enough to keep the lights out. Sam Chand, who lives across from the headquarters, said it was a nuisance for him and his fellow neighbors Sunday night.

“I don’t understand why it had to be blinking that bright,” he said, as a massive crane worked on the building Monday. “Subtlety is not [Musk’s] strength.”

While some people stopped to snap pictures of the scene Monday, others seemed to shrug it off as yet another episode in an ongoing loop of absurdities happening at the building in their neighborhood. As the company’s relationship with its hometown has become an increasingly fraught, the nearby residents have had plenty to get used to.

Over the past year alone, the company formerly known as Twitter has been sued for failing to pay millions in rent, investigated for illegally converting offices into bunk rooms and been the target of vitriolic statements from Musk, who has likened the city to a “derelict zombie apocalypse.”

Then, this weekend, a city building inspector tried twice to gain access to the new rooftop sign, according to the city’s complaint tracker. Representatives of the company refused to let the inspector in, allegedly telling the official that the structure “is a temporary lighted sign for an event,” the complaint said. The inspector explained to on-site X representatives that the structure must be removed or abide by city code.

The building’s property owner will be fined for the installation and removal of the structure, as well as the cost of the city’s investigation into the matter, according to Patrick Hannan, a spokesman for the Department of Building Inspection.

Musk acquired the company for $44 billion last year and has made drastic changes since then, including shedding roughly 80 percent of the workforce primarily through layoffs, promoting more subscription services on the platform and restoring hundreds of previously banned accounts.

Matt Dorsey, a member of the Board of Supervisors whose district includes the X building, said he is trying to reach out to Musk via some of their mutual contacts so they can have a “productive” conversation about the company’s relationship with San Francisco.

He said the company’s actions over the past week have felt “adversarial” toward the city, and he can’t quite understand why Musk is allowing his company to act like that.

“They must know it was illegal, and I think they know better,” Dorsey said of the unpermitted installation of the sign. “I’m less concerned about the sign than what it may communicate about a contentious relationship with local government.”