Billionaire Elon Musk recently rebranded the social media platform Twitter, replacing the iconic bird logo with the letter X, as the company pivots toward becoming what he calls an “everything app.”
In an announcement made on July 23, Musk said that the web domain “X.com now points to twitter.com,” adding that the “Interim X logo goes live later today.”
Interim X logo goes live later today.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 23, 2023
X CEO Linda Yaccarino said in a post, “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. Powered by AI, X will connect us all in ways we’re just beginning to imagine.”
Outside the U.S., everything apps (also called “super apps”) have already become the norm. WeChat and WhatsApp, which have more than three billion users combined, have grown ecosystems to help businesses chat with, sell to and harvest data from consumers, according to a research brief from CB Insights.
Yet, as X evolves from being a text-based platform supporting images and video, competitors have augmented their business models in the opposite direction to try and compete in the space Twitter has uniquely carved out for itself since the company’s founding during mid-summer 2006.
The day after Musk announced the new logo, Chinese-owned video platform TikTok announced it will begin letting users post text-based messages.
“Creators have been able to make content on TikTok across a variety of formats — from LIVE videos to photos, Duets to Stitch,” the company said in the announcement. “Text is the latest addition to options for content creation, allowing creators to share their stories, poems, recipes, and other written content on TikTok — giving creators another way to express themselves and making it even easier to create.”
Just like the social media platform X, TikTok will now allow users to add stickers and hashtags to text posts, as well as to change the background colors to “make your text pop,” the company explained. Users will even be able to add sound into their text posts, which readers can listen to while they read content.
TikTok isn’t the only challenger to X’s text-based social media hegemony.
Earlier this month, Meta (which owns Facebook and Instagram) announced the launch of Threads, an app built by the Instagram team for sharing posts with text.
Users log in to the platform with their instagram account. Tens of millions of users signed up after the initial launch. But, as of July 21, Meta’s Twitter alternative saw a nearly 70% decline in the number of daily active users.