Twitter is now called X after billionaire owner Elon Musk rebranded the social media platform with the dream of turning it into a WeChat-like ‘everything app’ intended to be everything from a ubiquitous payments processor to a social network.
The rebrand happened seemingly overnight.
On Sunday afternoon, he tweeted that if someone posted a “good enough X logo” then the change would happen the next day.
Twitter’s recently appointed CEO Linda Yaccarino said the rebrand was “a second chance to make another big impression”.
“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 said.
“Powered by AI, X will connect us all in ways we’re just beginning to imagine.”
X.com was originally a neobank Musk co-founded in the late 1990s. It was eventually merged with a competitor to become PayPal.
Now X.com redirects to Twitter.
When he took over social site late last year, Musk told staff he foresaw it as one day becoming a payments platform, claiming “from an information standpoint [there’s] not a huge difference between, say, just sending a direct message and sending a payment”.
He has previously made the outrageous claim that X would “service people’s financial needs to such a degree” and one day would be equivalent to “over half the global financial system … or some big number”.
Earlier this month, it was given licenses in three US states that would allow it to transfer funds on behalf of and between customers.
Musk is reportedly aiming to accommodate fiat currencies first before moving X into the world of cryptocurrency for which he has shown an affinity.
Twitter wouldn’t be the first social platform to try a crypto/payments pivot.
Facebook had plans to release a stablecoin called Libra which it ultimately canned after regulators expressed some concern letting Facebook create a shadow economy with its one billion users might be destabilising.
According to Musk, Twitter is remains cash flow negative thanks to a significant drop in advertising revenue – which he triggered by changing Twitter’s moderations policies among other things – and a “heavy debt load” that Musk piled onto the company when taking over.