Before Elon Musk’s remarkable $44 billion acquisition of Twitter last year, the popular billionaire had already been discussing the concept of building an all-encompassing service that would be called X. Musk’s vision for X was vast and undefined, showcasing his typical ambitious and visionary mindset. In July, during a weekend, Musk took a significant step towards realizing this vision by suddenly changing both the logo and the name of the popular social media website. The platform was then rebranded as X, marking the beginning of Musk’s mission to shift Twitter into what he refers to as “the everything app.” Assessing Musk’s odds of success with X is challenging due to the lack of detailed plans and strategy from the company. The decision for the Twitter rebrand to X appears to have been an impulsive one, made over a weekend in July, with the new logo crowdsourced within a 24-hour period from Musk’s Twitter followers.


Reason behind rebrand

The reason behind the Twitter rebrand to X is Musk’s desire to expand the social media platform beyond its role as a service for public messaging. He envisions X to become a comprehensive one-stop shop for diverse functionalities including financial services. The previous name of the platform, as well as the logo of the blue bird, were fitting when the platform was limited to 140 characters. However, the new CEO believes that the Twitter rebrand to X will facilitate the creation of a global marketplace for opportunities, services, goods, and ideas, as it represents the future state of unlimited interactivity. Although no specific products have been unveiled, the Twitter rebrand is expected to redefine the platform’s scope and offerings.


Inspiration behind the name

The inspiration behind the name “X” comes from Musk’s personal affinity for the letter X, evident in various aspects of his ventures. For instance, his electric car manufacturer brand, Tesla Inc. produces the Model X. There’s Musk’s rocket company, named SpaceX, and he has even named his son X, that he had with the singer Grimes, incorporating symbols into the actual name too. Musk draws parallels between his aspirations for Twitter and a previous venture called, founded by him in 1999 as a financial services business. This endeavor eventually evolved into what is now known as PayPal. During his tenure as CEO, Musk aimed to expand the platform and start phasing out the name Paypal, a decision that led to his removal from the company. Musk hinted at the significance of acquiring Twitter as a catalyst to accelerate his creation of X in a tweet he shared after acquiring the platform.


Everything app basics

The concept of an “Everything app” involves integrating various services into a single application that caters to the majority of a user’s needs. In China, there’s WeChat, from Tencent Holdings, which serves as an all-encompassing operating system, facilitating digital payments, food deliveries and orders, flight bookings, entertainment, and even dental appointments. Musk tweeted that in the forthcoming months with the Twitter rebrand as X, the platform would include more comprehensive communication features and offer users the capability to manage their entire financial situation on the app. While Musk hasn’t provided specific details, his admiration for WeChat, a mini-internet utilized daily by over a billion people in China, is evident.


Potential for success

The question of whether users desire a single app like X remains uncertain. In Europe and the US, users have generally shown a preference for utilizing multiple different apps to fulfill their tasks instead of relying on a single all-in-one platform. Popular banking, social media, and messaging apps remain distinct entities. Conversely, certain regions in Asia have seen the emergence of apps that encompass a wide range of functionalities in one place. However, this trend has not been prevalent in the USA. Musk’s X might be the first platform to attempt such an approach.

Read more from Ronn Torossian:

Ronn Torossian on Forbes
Ronn Torossian on Website Magazine
Ronn Torossian on DMNews
Ronn Torossian on Crain’s

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Ronn Torossian is the Founder & Chairman of 5W Public Relations, one of the largest independently owned PR firms in the United States. Since founding 5WPR in 2003, he has led the company's growth and vision, with the agency earning accolades including being named a Top 50 Global PR Agency by PRovoke Media, a top three NYC PR agency by O'Dwyers, one of Inc. Magazine's Best Workplaces and being awarded multiple American Business Awards, including a Stevie Award for PR Agency of the Year. With over 25 years of experience crafting and executing powerful narratives, Torossian is one of America's most prolific and well-respected public relations executives. Throughout his career he has advised leading and high-growth businesses, organizations, leaders and boards across corporate, technology and consumer industries. Torossian is known as one of the country's foremost experts on crisis communications. He has lectured on crisis PR at Harvard Business School, appears regularly in the media and has authored two editions of his book, "For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results With Game-Changing Public Relations," which is an industry best-seller. Torossian's strategic, resourceful approach has been recognized with numerous awards including being named the Stevie American Business Awards Entrepreneur of the Year, the American Business Awards PR Executive of the Year, twice over, an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year semi-finalist, a Top Crisis Communications Professional by Business Insider, Metropolitan Magazine's Most Influential New Yorker, and a recipient of Crain's New York Most Notable in Marketing & PR. Outside of 5W, Torossian serves as a business advisor to and investor in multiple early stage businesses across the media, B2B and B2C landscape. Torossian is the proud father of two daughters. He is an active member of the Young Presidents Organization (YPO) and a board member of multiple not for profit organizations.