Elon Musk, the visionary behind innovative companies such as Tesla and SpaceX, has disclosed an audacious plan to rebrand Twitter as ‘X.’ This decision, seemingly out of the blue, has deep roots in Musk’s history, stretching back to 1999 when he established the original X.com.
Musk’s fascination with ‘X.com’ is meticulously described in Walter Isaacson’s forthcoming book, ‘Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future.’ The idea for X.com was born out of Musk’s revolutionary vision to reshape the financial landscape. He envisaged ‘X.com’ as an all-inclusive platform encapsulating every aspect of financial services, from banking and digital purchases to credit cards, investments, and loans. Isaacson asserts that Musk’s groundbreaking concept was based on the notion that money is primarily data, and all transactions should be securely recorded in real-time.
The path to creating ‘X.com’ was strewn with hurdles and intense pressure. Musk, undeterred, set strict deadlines and prodded his colleagues relentlessly to meet them. One of ‘X.com’s notable achievements was the facility to send money via email, a feature that quickly gained traction, especially on eBay, for payments to strangers after purchases.
Subsequently, ‘X.com’ merged with a company co-founded by Peter Thiel and Max Levchin, morphing into the payment giant known today as PayPal. Despite this, Musk was insistent on preserving the ‘X.com’ moniker, signifying his enduring vision to dominate the global financial system.
Fast forward to 2022, and Musk’s interest in ‘X.com’ was reignited, sparking plans to rebrand Twitter with this symbolic name. Isaacson suggests Musk perceives Twitter’s potential as a powerful means to realize his original vision from 1999. Musk aims to metamorphose Twitter into a hybrid financial platform and social network, powered by artificial intelligence, and providing services such as payments and messaging, effectively making it a global marketplace for ideas, goods, services, and opportunities.
This move is part of Musk’s grand scheme to transform Twitter into a “super app” akin to China’s WeChat, which amalgamates various services and functionalities within a singular platform.
The transition to ‘X’ is well underway with significant changes occurring within the company. The legendary bird logo and the ‘Twitter’ brand name are being phased out in favor of ‘X.’ Twitter’s CEO, Linda Yaccarino, has enthusiastically embraced the transformation, highlighting the potential of ‘X’ to create a unique global marketplace and connect people in ways never seen before.