X (Twitter) CEO Linda Yaccarino tries to explain away the poorly-executed rebrand

Yaccarino doesn't address why the Twitter rebrand to X was so rushed

Elon Musk rebranded Twitter as X in July 2023. It has faced major complications ever since.

In the midst of people online commenting on the rebrand’s poor timing, planning and execution, Twitter’s recently-appointed CEO, Linda Yaccarino, did an interview with CNBC.

“We need to remind ourselves that Elon has been talking about X, the everything app, for a very long time,” Yaccarino said. “Even when we announced that I was joining the company, I was joining the company to partner with Elon to transform Twitter into X, the everything app.”

Musk’s idea for an “everything app” dates back to March, 1999, when he founded X.com.

Back then, it was meant to be an everything app for your financial needs. When X.com was bought by PayPal, Musk tried to encourage the team to take on the X. Surveys of customers showed they didn’t like the name X, but he pushed on. Eventually, he was outvoted and fired.

Now, when Musk says an “everything app,” he means everything. It would be like a swiss army knife; everything you’d want to do is in one place, instead of using several separate applications. He has compared it to a popular Chinese app called WeChat, which succeeded in the country because the government banned most Western social media platforms.

We began to hear about an “everything app” more in the news again when Elon Musk talked about it after trying to go back on his commitment to buy Twitter. Since he was forced to follow through, he seems dedicated to turning Twitter into his dream “everything app.”

“We need to keep our minds open,” Yaccarino said to CNBC. “It’s developing into this global town square, that’s fueled by free expression, where the public gathers in real time.”

Yaccarino framed the rebrand as “liberation” from the “legacy mindset” of old Twitter, which only allowed for “incremental change.” While plenty of people dislike the name change for its own sake, there has been much more discourse around how poorly the change was handled.

For one thing, it prompted Microsoft Edge to warn users that the website might be trying to trick them. It impacted TweetDeck, too, which had to be renamed to XPro. Other companies also hold trademarks related to ‘X’ — Microsoft owns it for video game-related services, while Meta (Facebook) owns it for software and social networking/media.

Then, when Musk tried to take down the Twitter sign on its headquarters and replace it with an X, the police had to step in because it didn’t have the right permits. The X logo did eventually go up but had to be taken down again just a few days later due to complaints about the flashing lights.

Yaccarino does not address (and was not asked about) the implementation of the rebrand to X. Instead, she focuses on the new features that X (Twitter) has implemented since Musk’s takeover and those it has plans for.

Some (current and future) changes include the following:

Header image credit: Google Play Store

Source: CNBC Via: Gizmodo