Changing Its Name Tanked X’s Downloads in App Store and Play Store

Speaking of Twitter/X, Eric Seufert, writing on Threads:

Twitter has seen a dramatic decrease in its Top Downloaded chart position across both platforms since the app was renamed to X. Why? The situation presents a fascinating case study at the intersection of brand equity and mobile platform dynamics.

The case is somewhat unprecedented: Twitter built a ubiquitous, household-name brand over the course of nearly 2 decades and then simply abandoned it, leaving it to be exploited by competitors, unopposed, through the mobile platforms’ branded search ads. [...]

My hypothesis is that, while the terminally-online are entirely aware of Twitter’s rebrand to X, most consumers aren’t, and their searches for “Twitter” on platform stores surface ads and genuine search results that are in no way redolent of Twitter.

So if you don’t know that Twitter changed its name to X, and search for “Twitter”, the top result is a paid ad from a competitor (Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram, etc.), and the result for X doesn’t look anything like Twitter. It doesn’t have the name, doesn’t say “formerly Twitter”, and isn’t even blue. It’s just the ugly X icon and the insipid slogan “Blaze your glory!”

At this moment, Threads is #2 on the App Store’s top free downloads list, and X is #51. On the Play Store, Threads is #6 and X is (scroll, scroll, scroll...) #66. This rebranding would be a firing offense if the mastermind behind it didn’t own the company. (So much for Threads being the one that’s supposedly gasping for air.)

Saturday, 19 August 2023