Fresh eyes

Does the Twitter rebrand have the X-factor for B2B brands?

Danny Green

Published by Danny Green,
PR and Communications Manager at Freshfield

Since acquiring Twitter for $44 billion in 2022, Elon Musk has introduced a number of changes to the platform in an attempt to develop his long-awaited ‘everything app’, recently unveiled as X.

This has prompted brands and marketing teams to wonder if and how they will proceed on the platform. Here, we take a look at the changes that have been made and how this will affect B2B brands going forward.

What changes have been made so far?

In a series of posts, Elon Musk and Linda Yaccarino, chief executive officer at X Corp, announced that the social media platform had been rebranded from Twitter to X, alongside a new visual identity.

This meant that the logo, brand colours and all icons associated with Twitter automatically updated to the new X branding when the app was open in a browser or mobile, much to the surprise of its users.

This was followed by the X.com URL now redirecting to Twitter.com, and Twitter’s display name updating to X on its official account.

Shortly after, an illuminated X sign was erected at the companies office in San Francisco, before it was removed by police following a number of complaints from local residents.

The pair also announced that tweets are now a thing of the past, with posts now referred to as X’s or xeets.

Commenting on these changes, Elon Musk says: “The Twitter name made sense when it was just 140-character messages going back and forth – like birds tweeting – but now you can post almost anything, including several hours of video. In the months to come, we will add comprehensive communications and the ability to conduct your entire financial world.”

What will the app be used for in future?

The vision of an ‘everything app’ is likely to be inspired through the success of China’s WeChat app, which offers services such as online food orders and bank transfers. It can also be used to book flights and watch films.

For now, there’s no such app available in the UK or US, but experts predict that X will eventually encompass almost anything a person wants to do online, such as shopping, watching videos or listening to a podcast.

Yaccarino has stated: “X is the future of unlimited interactivity,” focused on “audio, video, messaging, payments/banking” and “powered by AI.”

This seems more relevant for B2C brands than B2B brands in terms of mass reach, but it’s always good for businesses to be aware of new opportunities to connect with its intended audience.

It is currently unknown when these changes will come into force. What we do know is that Twitter already lets users engage in live audio conversations, send longer text messages, and broadcast video, showing intent to move away from its traditional way of operating.

Is Threads the answer?

These changes prompted rival company Meta, led by Mark Zuckerberg, to launch its own conversation-based alternative app called Threads, which allows users to share text updates and join public discussions.

This new platform, which sparked a public feud between Zuckerburg and Elon Musk, is an extension of Instagram, meaning that unless a business is already active on the photo sharing app, it would need to build a new audience from the ground up.

After a huge uptake in followers during its initial launch, the platform saw a 70 per cent decline in the number of daily active users, which makes us wonder if a like-for-like replacement is what people really want. In the meantime, many users are using the uncertainty to look at alternative channels or methods such as LinkedIn, blog writing or email marketing.

What does the Twitter change mean for B2B brands?

Currently, the rebrand to X is the only major change to the platform, which is in line with Musk’s plan to create interest in the product, before rolling out delivery later down the line.

While these new features are due to launch sometime in the near future, users should keep a close eye on the development of the app, as it may present new opportunities for sharing content going forward.

In terms of the immediate implications for businesses, we advise replacing the old Twitter logo with the updated X logo wherever it appears on brand assets.

Love or hate the old blue bird, it was iconic, instantly recognisable and brought a sense of simplicity to the social media. The reality is that the brand kept Twitter top of mind for brands and consumers.

As a result, there’s a possibility users and brands may notice a decline in engagement as a result of the recent changes, with users choosing to favour other social media platforms during this period of uncertainty or starting to use the X app in an entirely different way.

The Twitter to X implication is a ‘wait and see’ story.

If a B2B brand is using X as a core marketing channel, we recommend continuing to do so, but it’s a great reminder to continually monitor and review what is working and what isn’t with fresh eyes.

 

 

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