Table of Contents
Elon Musk’s self-aggrandizing ‘Blaze your glory!’ tagline has been denounced in favor of a more straightforward one — “Formerly Twitter”. Musk’s social media venture, initially known as Twitter, is in the midst of reckoning as its current moniker, ‘X’, continues to plummet down the App Store’s rankings1. Echoing the inherent existentialism of Plato, we’re witnessing this digital platform grappling with an identity crisis as it attempts to reconcile its past with its current reality.
Disorientation in Digital Navigation
In an uncanny parallel with the tale of the ship of Theseus, where the paradox of entity identity is presented when all components of an entity are replaced over time, one has to wonder – when does Twitter cease being Twitter?
The app, undergoing a metaphorical metamorphosis, is trying to figure out its ‘name’. A predicament reminiscent of Juliet’s contemplation in Shakespeare’s timeless play, reminding us that “a rose by any other name would smell just as sweet”2. Still, in the digital world where semantics wield considerable power, what is apparent is that an app by any other name doesn’t always download as sweetly3.
Tumbling Down the App Store Metrics
Research indicates a quick shift in user behavior, with mobile downloads for ‘X’ nosediving the very same day it changed its identity on Apple’s App Store. ‘X’ dropped like Icarus, sans the wax and feathers, instead rigged with an ambiguous name and obscure slogans. Its position in the ‘Top Downloaded’ category faltered by over 30 places, a stark contrast to other flourishing social media apps such as TikTok and WhatsApp4.
Musk, apparently channelling his inner Mendela and embracing the spirit of change, distanced himself from all established Twitter elements – from the globally recognized blue bird down to the “tweets”. However, the transformation was fraught with technical hitches and complexities that have, metaphorically speaking, shackled the Tesla mogul’s ambition of switching the Twitter domain to X.com5.
A Name Does Matter
Despite Musk’s steadfast drive to establish ‘X’, an interesting user survey revealed a whopping 69 percent of participants still harboring their allegiance to the original name – Twitter. Moreover, it seems these devotees of tradition continue to call it Twitter, indeed causing a social media pandemonium each time they can’t find it in their app store searches6.
Thus, Musk finds himself in a predicament not too dissimilar to the wisdom nugget from Laozi – “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” This ‘single step’ appears to be the calculated move from the verbose ‘Blaze your glory!’ tagline to a simpler, evident ‘Formerly Twitter’7.
One can only wait with bated breath to see if this premeditated step will enhance the appeal of ‘X’ amongst users who had earlier embraced Twitter. After all, as Einstein wisely quipped, “The measure of intelligence is the ability to change.”