Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover
Since Elon Musk assumed control of Twitter in October 2022 (with an eye watering $44 billion acquisition), the social media platform has been on a rollercoaster ride of transformation. From surprising and often controversial updates, like the introduction of Twitter Blue, to a significant workforce reduction that raised eyebrows — (resulting in over 80% of the staff being let go)—Twitter’s new ownership has left everyone wondering about the platform’s future. Musk’s visionary approach has sparked conversations, criticism, and curiosity about what’s in store for Twitter. In this blog, we’ll delve into the dramatic changes that have defined the “Musk era” of Twitter.
Goodbye Twitter, Hello X
Twitter was officially rebranded as “X” on July 22nd 2023. Announced by Elon Musk, who took over the company in October 2022 for $44 billion, this change represents twitter shift from a micro-blogging platform to an ambitious “everything app” aiming to offer a wide range of online functionality.Many believe this is because Elon eyeing plans to make “X” a competitor for China’s do-it-all app WeChat.
Elon’s decision to rebrand Twitter as “X” isn’t merely an impromptu choice. This letter has held a special place in his heart for decades. As far back as 1999, when he created his online banking venture X.com, which subsequently evolved into the globally recognised PayPal.
Even though he had previously released the domain, in 2017 he was moved to reclaim it due to its sentimental value. The “X” influence has spread through other projects he’s helmed as well, such as Tesla’s Model X and Space X. On a more personal note, he even named his son X Æ A-12 Musk. Given Musk’s profound relationship with the letter, it seems fitting that he perceives “X” as “symbolising our unique imperfections”.
This sentiment aligns with his recent remarks on Twitter’s
evolution. He recently commented, “The original name ‘Twitter’ was apt
when the platform was restricted to 140-character exchanges, echoing the brief chirps of birds. However, with the expansion to include varied content, such as long-duration videos, and the imminent introduction of advanced communication and financial tools, the name seemed out of sync with the platform’s dynamic direction.
Twitters Newest Changes
Since the acquisition of Twitter in 2022, the platform has undergone a magnitude of changes, significantly impacting how brands interact and grow online.
Here is a summary of those changes:
Twitter Blue: A paid subscription offering premium features like the ability to edit tweets within a short time after posting and an extended character limit of up to 10,000 characters.
Revamped Newsfeed: The traditional “Home” and “Latest” tabs are replaced with ‘For You’ (algorithm-based recommendations) and ‘Following’ (chronological feed from known contacts).
Enhanced Metrics: Beyond likes and retweets, users can now view replies, bookmarks, and tweet views.
Topic Tags: Allows users to follow specific topics, enhancing content discoverability and relevance.
Twitter Circle: A feature for sharing content with a select group (up to 150 people), enhancing content privacy and relevance.
Video Reactions: Inspired by TikTok, users can now respond to tweets with video, adding a dynamic engagement layer.
Alt Text & Image Descriptions: Enhancing content accessibility and offering SEO benefits.
Twitter Subscriptions: A monetisation tool where accounts offer exclusive content to subscribers.
Reinstatement of Suspended Accounts: Under Musk’s leadership, Twitter reinstated accounts like Donald Trump, Majorie Taylor Greene, and Kathy Griffin. This decision sparked debates about the platform’s content moderation and free speech policies.
Our final thoughts on the Reshaping of Twitter Under Elon Musk
Since Elon Musk’s dramatic takeover of Twitter in October 2022, the platform has undergone several major changes. Rebranding as “X”, this transformation reflects not just a new name but a reimagined vision, aspiring to compete with multifunctional apps like China’s WeChat. The introduction of features such as Twitter Blue, the revamped newsfeed, enhanced metrics, and topic tags, among others, showcases Musk’s ambition to make the platform more dynamic and user-centric. Furthermore, the decision to reinstate previously suspended accounts has ignited debates on freedom of speech and content moderation. As we witness the dawn of the “Musk era,” one thing is certain Twitter, or rather “X”, is on a trajectory that promises continuous evolution, challenges, and opportunities. For brands and users alike, adapting to this changing landscape will be pivotal in harnessing the platform’s full potential. We at Urban Media are excited to see how these changes unfold in the coming months and look forward to harnessing the new features to help our clients achieve success in a digital world.