The AtlanticThe Atlantic

Why Elon killed the bird

By Charlie Warzel

25 Jul 2023 · 7 min read

informed Summary

  1. Elon Musk has renamed Twitter as X, with the aim of creating a "super app" that includes payment processing, banking, ride-sharing, news, and commerce. This would require building a secure payment platform, obtaining regulatory licenses, and recruiting businesses and financial institutions to use the platform.

In May, Elon Musk presided over an uncharacteristically subtle tweak to Twitter’s home page. For years, the prompt in the text box at the top of the page read, “What’s happening?,” a friendly invitation for users to share their thoughts. Eight months after the billionaire’s takeover, Twitter changed the prompt ever so slightly to match the puzzling, chaotic nature of the platform under the new regime: “What’s happening?” became “What is happening?!”

This question, with its exclamatory urgency, has never been more relevant to Twitter than in the past 48 hours, when Musk decided to nuke 17 years’ worth of brand awareness and rename the thing. The artist formerly known as Twitter is now X. What is happening?! indeed.

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