X is just Twitter, not a super app.

X is just Twitter, not a super app.

Elon Musk’s Twitter Rebranding: A Hilarious Gamble with Serious Challenges

Elon Musk Twitter Rebranding

Elon Musk, the enigmatic CEO known for his eccentricity and innovation, has once again made headlines with his latest antics on Twitter. After successfully boosting the value of the dogecoin cryptocurrency with a simple logo change, Musk decided to crowdsource a new logo for the platform. And just like that, Twitter was rebranded as X.

This reimagined platform, according to Twitter CEO Linda Yaccarino, aims to become a global marketplace for ideas, goods, services, and opportunities, powered by AI. But this is not Musk’s first foray into building an all-in-one platform. His vision dates back to the late 1990s when he attempted to launch x.com, an online banking platform. However, after being ousted from the company, x.com was renamed PayPal, which became a massive success.

Now, Musk is back with a grander vision, incorporating messaging, ecommerce, video, and AI into a single platform under the new brand X. However, experts are skeptical about the viability of this ambitious plan. Building a super app like X would require creating a new financial technology infrastructure, navigating complex regulatory hurdles, and regaining the trust of users and advertisers who have deserted Twitter since Musk’s takeover.

David Shrier, a professor of practice in AI and innovation at Imperial College Business School, warns that Twitter’s rebranding to X is just an outdated business plan being implemented in an even worse market position. The company already faces decreasing brand equity and user experience, putting them at a significant disadvantage.

To become a successful super app, X should prioritize payments as its foundational feature. Allowing users to make payments to one another and to businesses is crucial. However, fintech experts question Twitter’s ability to build a financial rail that users will trust and regulators will permit. Strict regulations require companies to verify customer identities and monitor financial transactions, necessitating large compliance departments. Musk’s approach of reducing staff may clash with these requirements.

Furthermore, Twitter’s track record with regulation under Musk’s leadership has been less than stellar. The company’s lax approach to content moderation and safety has attracted the attention of governments worldwide. Compliance with rules on managing disinformation, such as those in the European Union’s Digital Services Act, could be a significant challenge. The leaked internal documents, branded as the ‘Twitter Files,’ further eroded trust in the platform.

Rebuilding trust with advertisers is another hurdle X must overcome. Since Musk took over, Twitter’s advertising revenue has plummeted, and influential brands have retreated. Detoxifying the platform and ensuring a safer space for brands are of utmost importance. Twitter’s recent move to pay influencers based on their engagement is a step in the right direction. However, Twitter’s relatively small user base compared to platforms like YouTube and TikTok limits the earning potential for influencers.

Creating a successful video platform is another puzzle for X. Previous attempts by Twitter, such as Vine and Periscope, have faltered. Musk’s recruitment of right-wing talk show host Tucker Carlson may have attracted attention, but it also generated controversy. The platform’s struggles with audio, exemplified by the glitchy stream of Republican presidential candidate Ron DeSantis, further highlight the challenges X faces.

Lastly, AI has always been one of Musk’s strong suits. With his investments in OpenAI and the advancements in AI technology at Tesla and SpaceX, Musk has a proven track record in this field. However, even with great AI capabilities, it may not be enough to salvage a platform that is losing its key influencers, experiencing declining user numbers, and suffering from a deteriorating user experience.

In conclusion, Elon Musk’s latest Twitter rebranding, X, is an audacious and potentially humorous gamble. While the lofty goals of creating an all-in-one super app powered by AI may seem appealing, the challenges ahead are immense. Building a new financial technology infrastructure, navigating regulatory hurdles, and regaining trust from users and advertisers will require a Herculean effort. Musk’s eccentricity and AI prowess may add some excitement, but ultimately, the success of X will depend on addressing the underlying issues that have plagued Twitter since his takeover.