Twitter took the @x username from its original owner and invited him to visit Elon Musk’s rebranded X HQ.

Twitter took the @x username from its original owner and invited him to visit Elon Musk's rebranded X HQ.

X (Formerly Known as Twitter) Rebrands and Takes Over User Account

X Rebranding

Twitter, the popular social media platform, underwent a major rebranding this week, changing its name to X and updating all its official accounts to match. However, this rebranding effort came with some unexpected consequences, as the company abruptly took over one of its user accounts with the handle @x on Tuesday night.

The original owner of the @x handle, Gene X Hwang, a photographer from San Francisco, received an email regarding the handle change and was given the much longer handle @x12345678998765. Hwang had owned the @x handle since 2007 and had amassed over 53,000 followers on the platform.

Hwang, although open to the idea of trading the handle, was not provided with any financial compensation by X. He jokingly mentioned that he had hoped to receive a Tesla Model X or a ride on a SpaceX rocket as compensation. While he believed some form of compensation was reasonable, Hwang was not attempting to extort money from the company.

X informed Hwang via email that the user handle “is affiliated with X Corp” and provided him with a different handle. They also transferred his posts and followers to the new account. The company offered Hwang “X merch and an exclusive visit to X’s HQ to meet members of our team” as a form of compensation. However, Hwang had already visited the company’s headquarters in the past and expressed a preference for Twitter-related merchandise instead of X-branded materials.

Taken Handle Image courtesy of Gene X Hwang

Elon Musk, the owner of X, announced the rebranding over the weekend, marking the transition from Twitter to X and replacing the iconic blue bird logo with a simple “X.” The company promptly began changing the names of its official accounts on the platform. However, their main account took longer because Hwang had already registered @x.

Users on the platform started noticing the then-private account @x changing its bio to “!!!” and “Oh,” while the X logo appeared all over the site. Some users even joked that Hwang must be scared for his life amidst the rebranding.

After his account was changed, Hwang tweeted “All’s well that ends well” on Tuesday night, indicating a resolution to the situation. In the past, users on Twitter have been known to sell their handles for thousands of dollars on the black market, a practice that violates the platform’s username squatting policy. Although Hwang experienced a similar hack in 2014, he was able to regain control of @x, as he mentioned in his blog post.

Interestingly, one company account yet to change its name is @TwitterMovies, which some users have humorously linked to the fact that the name X sounds more like a porn website.

However, the takeover of the @x handle seems to be the least of X’s rebranding woes. Their rival company, Meta, holds the rights to a trademark for the “X” logo, potentially causing further complications for X. Additionally, X faced difficulties replacing its Twitter sign at its headquarters when police responded to a “possible unpermitted street closure” on Monday night, although it was later determined that it was not an issue for law enforcement.

At the time of writing, X has not responded to Insider’s request for comment on the matter.

In conclusion, the rebranding of Twitter to X led to the company taking over the user account @x without compensating the original owner, Gene X Hwang. While Hwang was willing to trade the handle, X did not offer any financial compensation. This incident adds to the challenges of X’s rebranding efforts, including potential trademark issues and logistical problems at their headquarters. Nonetheless, X remains committed to its new identity and logo as it progresses into a new era of social media.