Elon Musk has changed the name of Twitter to just X and is doing everything he can to strip remnants of the old brand from the social media company’s headquarters in San Francisco. On Monday, local police posed an unexpected challenge to the removal of Twitter’s brand.
San Francisco police officers were called to Twitter HQ on Monday afternoon because the building owners weren’t told about the sign being changed, according to the San Francisco Standard. Musk had previously tried to change the sign to read “Titter,” another change that building owners were reportedly not happy about.
The majority of the text was removed, and you can still see the E-R letters in the picture above. One sign, facing the other street side of it appears to be still displaying the complete name Twitter. Twitter has occupied an office space at 10th and Market Street in San Francisco since 2012 and it’s not clear whether the owners of the building will allow the remaining Twitter branding to be removed.
Musk purchased Twitter back in October 2022 and made a lot of dramatic changes that have caused the company’s valuation to plummet. The billionaire has fired thousands of employees and still fights in court about severance package that former workers claim was promised. Musk made another controversial decision, granting a form of amnesty to many Twitter users, who were previously banned from the platform. This included people such as musician Kanye, neo Nazi Nick Fuentes, and the former president Donald Trump. West and Fuentes, who both spewed hate on Twitter, were again banned. Trump however never rejoined.
Musk has also shown what can only be described as erratic behavior on the platform, seeming to announce major changes before they’re ready to be implemented. Musk launched a new program for sharing ad revenue among creators in July, despite announcing it in February. And it’s still not fully up and running, according to reports, only paying out hand-picked creators who are mostly far-right instigators, according to the Washington Post.
Musk’s vision for X is reportedly for the social media platform into the “everything app,” perhaps like WeChat is used in China. Chinese messaging app WeChat allows its users to organize events and pay for products, similar to Twitter. It remains to be determined whether X will expand into high-tech areas such as banking if the decisions made are so sloppy. Despite announcing X’s new branding, much of the site retains elements of its old branding. As just one example, the search bar in the upper-right-hand corner still reads “Search Twitter.”
Twitter had seen some financial struggles before Musk’s takeover, but it was still a well-known brand which helped define many of the elements that make up internet culture. And Musk is apparently tossing all of that brand equity into the garbage bin in an attempt to remake it into a brand he’s long been obsessed with. Analysts and brand agencies that spoke with Bloomberg estimate getting rid of the Twitter brand will likely wipe anywhere from $4 billion to $20 billion from the company’s value. That’s a significant drop when you remember that Fidelity estimated back in May that Twitter is only worth about $15 billion today.
Musk acquired Twitter last year at a cost of $44 billion.
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