A Rose By Any Other Name

Poor Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg.

And by that, of course, we mean the complete opposite, as their net worths are $197.8 billion and $164.2 billion respectively. Ah, but does all that money buy happiness? (Um, without going into a full on “meaning of life” deep dive, the answer is a resounding “yes”, but for the purposes of this post, just play along.)

Both Musk and Zuckerberg, while obviously successful in most of the things they do, have failed in changing the names of their social media behemoths Twitter and Facebook.

In April of 2022, Musk bought Twitter for a tidy sum of $44 billion. On July 23, 2023 he officially changed the name to X. Zuckerberg launched Facebook on February 4, 2004, and on October 28, 2021 he announced that the name was changing to Meta.

Musk’s rebrand included a new logo and tagline. The iconic blue bird logo was replaced with an art deco style X and the tagline changed from, “let’s talk” to “Blaze your glory!” For his part, Zuckerberg made the switch from Facebook to Meta in an eye-rolling attempt to shield it from bad press.

And while we hesitate to bring Shakespeare into a discussion of Twitter and Facebook, we remember the wise words Juliet once spoke:

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”

The world has reacted to the two name changes much the same way my sister did when her 7-year old son informed her he was changing his name to “Thunderfart”.

Is there anyone out there who uses the names X and Meta? (Those of you in social media marketing don’t count– you have to.) Anyone? Anyone at all?

Musk and Zuckerberg can stomp their feet and gnash their teeth, but “Twitter” and “Facebook” are pretty entrenched.

Rebranding isn’t easy.

We’re reminded of the time in 2011 when Netflix founder Reed Hastings (net worth: $4.5 billion) had the not-so-brilliant idea of raising the prices of Netflix movies by 60%. SIXTY PERCENT in one fell swoop! Now back then, all Netflix was good for was renting movies that you hadn’t been psyched up enough three months prior to go see in a theater. In an attempt to rebrand that would have embarrassed a 4th-grader, Hastings announced that the Netflix service that was movie rentals would now be called “Qwikster”.

Qwikster? So. Not. Kewl.

Thankfully, for Hastings sake, streaming qwikly overwhelmed the movie-rental business and Netflix has morphed into a giant media empire.

And while both Twitter and Facebook continue to make their humongous footprint in the world… we’re sorry, we meant to say, continue to “Blaze their glory!” The monikers X and Meta are on the tips of absolutely nobody’s tongue as they metaphorically share space with tumbleweeds in the desert.

Juliet’s line has its spot in the literary Hall of Fame, as indeed, the smell of a rose will always be sweet. As for X and Meta? Let’s just say that their smell is a lot closer to Thunderfart.

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