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How do users feel about Twitter rebranding to X?

Full disclosure, I’m all about comms - I'm not an analyst. But I thought it’d be cool to take a closer look at what people are saying about the Twitter rebrand. There’s a lot already out there on the Twitter to X shuffle, but most of what I’ve seen cherrypicks a few comments here and there. I want to try and understand what the collective is saying.

With Thematic, our feedback analytics platform, I can surface insights immediately from thousands of real reviews left by Twitter/X users on the iOS App Store and the Google Play store. As well as being super fast, Thematic is easy to use, which means I know how to drive it!

I’ve kept the date range for reviews tight, focusing on 23 July - 10 August 2023. You can find a more recent update at the end of the post!

The 23rd of July is when X was announced as the new name for Twitter. It’s barely a fortnight’s worth of comments, but when an app has as large a user base as Twitter, that adds up to a whopping 44,000 reviews.

A few too many to read through myself - I’d be here forever. But I have Thematic, so I don’t have to!

Here’s the overall summary of all that feedback, provided by Thematic. The AI has themed and organized all of the reviews, and this summary is built from that quality data:

Summary from Thematic: The feedback is mixed, with some users expressing disappointment in the app's branding, bugs, and glitches, while others appreciate the platform's ability to allow free speech. Some users are unhappy with the name change to X and the logo, while others enjoy the app's news and video features. There are also complaints about the app's slow loading times and the presence of racist and sexist accounts.

Next, I can use Thematic to filter the comments, so I can focus solely on people talking about the rebrand and get more granular.

Thematic has themed all of the free texts and made it easy for me to find and explore themes in the data. Since the rebrand was recent, I ran a theme discovery on recent data and Thematic found themes about the rebrand. I can dig into those comments in more detail.

As expected, the general consensus is that the rebrand is not great. Here’s Thematic’s summary of the ‘rebrand’ sub-theme:

summary of the rebrand subtheme

There's a lot to take in, so I've also exported a chart focused purely on user sentiment:

User sentiment for the theme 'rebrand'

Yeesh, so few of these comments are positive. People are very attached to the blue bird. They feel the rebrand was unnecessary, and stripped Twitter of its personality.

It looks like most folks see this as more of an Elon Musk ego-trip than something that's actually helpful for Twitter users.

One of the features I love about Thematic’s summaries is that they’re not standalone - Thematic groups all of the similar sentences together so you can see exactly what users are saying in their own words.

Sentence clusters for the theme 'rebrand'

Some people are disappointed about losing useful features, and there's chatter about too much money-grabbing with the new monetization rules. They feel like it's more than a rebrand; it's messing with their Twitter experience.

If I expand any of the sentence clusters, I get even more detail - each and every comment that is similar. I can click on any of the quotes to see it in situ.

Expanded sentence cluster, showing a comment with the phrase in situ

I’m curious to see what people who like the rebrand are saying. It seems like they’ve been drowned out by all the naysayers. I’ve filtered the reviews further to zero in on those tagged as positive by Thematic’s sentiment analysis.

There’s only 58 comments marked as positive! But here’s Thematic’s summary:

Summary of positive comments from the 'rebrand' theme
Summary of positive comments mentioning the rebrand

So it's not all terrible. There's a small group of people who think X is a good branding move for an 'everything app'.

One lesson I'm taking away from all this - rebranding is more than just changing a name or a logo. It's about respect for what users have grown to love.

But who knows? 'X' might have a rabbit up its sleeve and make a comeback – wouldn't that be a ride! Guess I'll have to wait and see along with everyone else.

For further context -  Twitter’s ‘updates and changes’ used to be a generally positive theme for Twitter users, but that’s become more and more negative since the start of the year.

Volume over time for the 'updates and changes' theme
Volume over time for the 'updates and changes' theme - positive and negative

A month on - what's changed?

Despite some controversial takes over the past month, like Elon Musk stating he was removing the block function (and consequentially telling right-wing darling James Woods to delete his account), X seems to be settling in to a new normal.

Here's what the rebrand theme looks like - the blue baseline is our rebrand period of 23 July - 10 August, and orange is the month following.

Summaries for the rebrand theme

The volume of reviews is down. Less people have bothered to feed back on how they're feeling about X, and the rebrand, and those that have are slightly more positive. Maybe it's true that you can get used to anything. Or maybe there are simply less users of the app overall?

It looks like the focus of user reviews has shifted more towards the app's functionality. Percentage wise, there are more reviews talking about moderation, privacy and security though.

Themes by volume, comparing the rebrand period to the past month
Themes by volume, comparing the rebrand period to the past month

And when I look at how these themes are impacting the review scores, it's not good news.

When I take a closer look at the 'blocking' sub-theme, Musk's latest decision is there in black and white. There's an increase in reviews mentioning blocking, and it's mostly negative.

While I can only speculate about user numbers, it's telling that there are fewer reviews in recent weeks. But for now, X isn't going anywhere.

If you’d like to see how Thematic works on your own feedback data, whether it’s app reviews, surveys, chat logs or something else, book a chat with our team. We offer a free guided trial so you can drive Thematic for yourself.

Have a great week!

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