Elon Musk Initiates Brand Overhaul Rebranding Twitter to X

01 March 2024 04:53 AM

Twitter (now X), as of 2022, has been a social media platform enabling to post and interact with short messages known as "tweets." Here's a brief overview of Twitter's journey:

  • Founded in March 2006 by Jack Dorsey, Biz Stone, and Evan Williams’, Twitter was initially developed as an internal communication tool at Odeo, a podcasting company.
  • Twitter was officially launched to the public in July 2006. The 140-character limit for tweets was inspired by the character limit for SMS messages.
  • Twitter gained popularity rapidly, becoming a microblogging platform where users could share short updates, thoughts, and links.
  • Twitter introduced hash tags in 2007, allowing users to categorize and search for content. The retweet feature, allowing users to easily share others' tweets, was also introduced.
  • Twitter faced challenges in its early years, including frequent downtime and technical issues due to the growing user base. The "Fail Whale" graphic became a symbol of these challenges.
  • Twitter expanded its user base globally, becoming a key platform for real-time communication, news sharing, and social interaction.
  • Over the years, Twitter introduced various features such as lists, moments, Twitter Polls, and the increase of the character limit for tweets from 140 to 280 characters.
  • Twitter went public with its Initial Public Offering (IPO) in November 2013, trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol TWTR.
  • Twitter acquired Periscope in 2015, enabling users to broadcast and watch live video streams directly within the platform. Live streaming became a significant feature.
  • Twitter introduced an algorithmic timeline in 2016, showing users the most relevant tweets first rather than a purely chronological feed.
  • Twitter intensified efforts to address issues related to harassment, abuse, and misinformation on the platform, implementing measures to improve user safety.
  • Twitter continued to evolve its product and design, introducing features like Twitter Spaces (audio chat rooms), Fleets (disappearing tweets), and Super Follows (allowing users to charge followers for premium content).

Twitter's journey reflects its evolution from a simple microblogging platform to a global social media giant. The platform has played a significant role in shaping online communication, news dissemination, and public discourse.

Major Change: Twitter Is Officially Owned by Elon Musk

Elon Musk finalized a $44 billion deal for the acquisition of Twitter on October 27, 2022 after a long legal drama over Musk getting cold-feet on the deal. Since Musk took over the company, many steps have been termed “questionable”, including mass layoffs without any prior notice or the compensation for the notice period, ban reversals, verification chaos, API access shakeups, complete scrape down of communications department, and especially the rebranding to “X”.

Let’s discuss all the major updates at Twitter/X after Musk’ ownership of it up to this point:


  • Musk took the company private and relieved many important officials from their duties including former CEO Parag Agrawal, CFO Ned Segal, general counsel Sean Edgett and head of Legal, Trust and Safety Vijaya Gadde.
  • Musk plans to restructure the verification system and introduce a more expensive version of Twitter/X Blue $19.99 per month from $4.99 per month


  • Twitter/X was sued in a Class Action Lawsuit for the alleged violation of workers’ protection laws by not giving employees an advance notice of layoffs.
  • New changes to the verification system were announced including pricing Twitter/X Blue plan at $8 per month.
  • An announcement is made to roll out a new multicolored verification system- gold checkmark for companies, grey for government officials, and the blue for individuals.


  • New feature for Twitter/X Blue facilitating an upload of 60-minute videos from the web at 1080p resolution and 2GB in file size was introduced.
  • The newsletter platform- Revue was shut down.
  • Trust & Safety Council of 100 independent researchers and human rights activists was diffused.
  • Twitter/X launched Twitter Blue for businesses allowing them to find their employees.
  • A tweet’s “view” count now visible to everyone.
  • Twitter/X starts showing stock and crypto currency prices in search results.


  • Twitter/X collaborated with Adtech companies DoubleVerify and Integral Ad Science (IAS) after advertisers’ exit and revenue from ads declined. This program lets the advertisers analyze the content adjacent to their ads.
  • The app uplifts the political Ad ban following the decline in ad revenue due to advertisers pulling back.
  • Twitter/X made changes to its developer terms to ban third-party clients.
  • Twitter/X rolled out the bookmark feature on IOS making it simpler to add a post.


  • The co-tweet feature was discontinued which allowed two users to write the same post.
  • With the view to find more avenues to monetize the platform, new steps were taken like- sharing ad revenue with creators in lieu of joining Twitter/X blue, Twitter/X API access no longer being available for free, and introducing a new Spaces tab making podcasts available only to Blue subscribers and “some people on Twitter for iOS and Twitter for Android apps”, introducing 4,000 word long tweets for Twitter/X blue subscribers.

MARCH 2023

  • Twitter/X launches three API tiers- free level is for content posting bots, basic level is priced at $100 per month, and an enterprise level.
  • Twitter/X made the announcement to remove ‘legacy blue’ checkmarks.
  • “Tor” Twitter service has ceased on account of the app failing to renew the certificate. The service was available in the countries where social network is banned.

APRIL 2023

  • EU sent a warning to Twitter/X and 18 other major tech platforms over malicious influence and disinformation, accusing the Musk-owned platform of “not making digital information space any safer and free from disinformation”.
  • Twitter/X sent emails to advertisers to have verified accounts if they wanted to continue running the ads, meaning they needed to subscribe to either Twitter Blue or Verified Organizations.
  • With the legacy checks gone, verification marks were made reserved for paid users only. Later on, multiple top accounts with more than 1 million followers received their marks back.
  • Government-funded media labels were removed entirely from the app.
  • Microsoft dropped Twitter/X from its advertising platform after the latter asked for a minimum of $42,000 per month for using its API.
  • Twitter/X introduced 10,000 character-long tweets for Blue subscribers.
  • After being labeled as Government-funded media, many news organizations backed off from Twitter/X.

MAY 2023

  • Expanding the previous limit of 60-minute video, Twitter/X allows Blue users to upload a two-hour long video. The file limit was also increased for the Blue users from 2GB to 8GB.
  • Linda Yaccarino was appointed Twitter/X CEO after Musk took the role of CTO (Yaccarino started her work at Twitter/X in June).
  • Twitter/X announced to make its API free for verified government or public-owned services posting about public utility alerts and emergency warnings.

JUNE 2023

  • Window to edit tweets was increased from 30 minutes to one hour for Blue subscribers.
  • National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA) filed a $250 million lawsuit against Twitter/X for copyright violation.
  • Twitter/X announced 25,000 character long tweets for its Blue subscribers.
  • Twitter/X put the limit to the number of tweets users can read in a day- 6,000 posts for verified account holders, 600 for unverified, and 300 for unverified newly registered. Later on the limit was increased to- 10,000, 1,000, and 500 respectively.
  • It was announced that only verified users could access TweetDeck (Twitter management app through which users can create, schedule and track all their Twitter posts, including news from different hashtags and topics as well).

JULY 2023

  • After threatening Meta for allegedly poaching former Twitter employees to create “Threads”, Twitter/X seemed to have started blocking links to the new “Threads” app.
  • Twitter introduced new DM feature allowing messages to primary inbox from only the people you follow and others’ to “message request”.
  • Twitter/X declared that it would pay creators (Blue subscribers with more than 5 million post impressions each month) a share for the ad revenue earned from the ads served in reply to their posts.
  • Twitter Notes that was launched in June 2022, was confirmed to be back. It allowed users to publish long-form content.
  • Iconic bird logo was officially replaced with “X”; also its official handle was changed to “@x”. “@x” handle was originally owned by Gene X Hwang of Orange Photography (the corporate photography and videography studio). Gene X Hwang confirmed that the company took over his account without warning or financial compensation, telling him the handle is property of X.
  • Apple that doesn’t allow naming apps as single letters accepted the rebranding of Twitter as “X” in their app store.


  • Twitter/X gave the paid users an option to hide their checkmarks.
  • Twitter/X renamed TweetDeck to XPro which would be a subscriber’s only platform.
  • Twitter/X took over @music account which had been operated by Jeremy Vought for 16 years. Vought grew it to half a million followers.
  • Partnership with Integral Ad Science was extended to further work on testing the settings that enable advertisers choose their limits for the kinds of content they want their ads to appear around.
  • Twitter/X decreased the requirement for its creator payout from 5 million post impressions per month to 5 million post impressions per three months.
  • Twitter/X announced to offer a one-time credit of $250 to advertisers if they spent $1,000 or more on their ad campaigns over the course of 30 days.
  • Twitter/X confirmed to lift the ban on political ads.
  • In a major policy update, Twitter/X stated that it might collect biometric information of the user. It has not been specified yet how it intended to collect it.


  • Twitter/X banned crawling and scraping in any form without “prior written consent” as defined in its new policy.
  • As per the interview conversation with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Musk said Twitter/X might no longer stay a free site.
  • Twitter/X announced to remove Circle feature effective from October 31st, 2023. Users will no longer be able to create a post that is limited to their circle.


  • A Florida-based social media ad agency, X Social Media sued X Corp. over its trademark.
  • In an attempt to get users to post long-form content on the platform itself, Twitter/X has started cutting headlines from link cards showing only the image with the domain name.
  • New control feature allows users to choose not to let non-verified users reply to their post.
  • According to a new feature, administrators of private groups on X can ask the users to answer a question if they request to join the group.
  • As it was already announced in September 2023, Circle feature was finally shut down without citing any reason for it.


  • Twitter/X rolled out its new job search feature in an attempt to make it the “everything app”. More updates are planned for the coming days.
  • After Musk backed the anti-Semitic content on the platform, high-profile advertisers including Apple, Disney, Warner Bros. Discovery, IBM, Comcast/NBCUniversal, Paramount Global, Lionsgate, European Commission, Walmart, etc. stopped their spending on the platform.


  • As per Musk’s plan to change X into a payments platform, it has received the license to carry money transfers in 12 states.
  • With a purpose to encourage users to engage with their audience without having to go to a third-party platform, Twitter/X is planning to add videos to Spaces.


  • Twitter/X launched basic tier- $200 per month “verified organizations program” for small businesses.
  • The platform has brought back the feature of showing headlines with the links, which was removed earlier.
  • A feature launched by previous management allowing Blue subscribers to set NFTs as their profile pictures was removed.
  • Twitter/X plans to launch peer-to-peer payments in 2024 and enhance the user as well as the advertising experience through the use of AI.
  • Accounts of multiple journalists, commentators, and podcasters were temporarily suspended for being critical of Elon Musk.
  • Twitter/X announced to hire 100 content moderators for a new “trust and Safety Centre” in Austin.


  • Twitter/X became the most downloaded app in a single day after the announcement of Tucker Carlson-Putin interview.
  • Twitter/X entered into a partnership with BetMGM giving X users an easy access to betting on sports.
  • Following the controversial events of advertisers leaving the platform due to their ads appearing near offensive and objectionable content, Twitter/X announced that advertisers would be able to select the content around which their ads appear.

In this timeline showing the course of the company over more than a year, the fact which is hard to ignore is that certain updates and changes have been made in an abrupt manner leaving the world perplexed. All these events have affected Twitter stock price as well. The stock price got down to the depths of $33 during the legal tussle of ownership transfer deal, surged by more than 12% after the deal, and has been hovering over $50 ever since.

Top level brand advertisers stopping their ad spending on the platform has been one of the biggest setbacks for Twitter/X after being owned by Elon Musk. Media buyers are also dissatisfied with Yaccarino’s work as CEO and have recently urged her to resign to maintain her reputation. Overall stability of the platform is undoubtedly a concern for the year 2024 and beyond.

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