Twitter's 'X' name change has led to a huge decrease in App Store downloads

You can't grow a business, or your bottom line, without new users.
By Elizabeth de Luna  on 
A phone with the X logo on it in the foreground. In the background, a black and white collage of the twitter logo and Elon Musk.
Credit: Jonathan Raa/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Elon Musk's Twitter takeover has come with a lot of changes, but his rebranding of the platform to "X" may be the final nail in the coffin of the once-beloved tech titan.

Though Musk announced that Twitter would be renamed "X" on Jul. 23, it wasn't until Jul. 31 that the change to "X" went live on Apple's App Store. That change had an immediate effect on how many people download the app, according to an analysis from media strategist Eric Seufert.

Seufert looked at Twitter/ X's ranking on the Apple App Store's "Top Downloaded" chart from Jul. 27 to Aug. 15 and found that the app's average ranking fell significantly after the rebranding, from 35 to 54.

Seufert's chart. Dates are on the X axis, rankings on the Y. A pink line mark's the app's daily ranking, and it declines post-name change.
Seufert's analysis shows a decline in Twitter/X downloads post-name change. Credit: Eric Seufert

"My hypothesis is that, while the terminally-online are entirely aware of Twitter's rebrand to X, most consumers aren't," Seufert wrote in a post that accompanied his findings, "and their searches for 'Twitter' on platform stores surface ads and genuine search results that are in no way redolent of Twitter."

It isn't just Twitter's new name that's likely causing confusion, it's its new look, too. A search for "Twitter" on the App Store on August 21 does offer up X as the first result, but the bold, black listing is practically unrecognizable as the new evolution of Twitter. There's little reference to its bright, bird-y past in the listing's visuals or descriptive text.

Screenshot of the Apple App Store results for "Twitter." First is an ad for TikTok, second is "X."
App Store search results for "Twitter" on Aug. 21. Credit: App Store
Screenshot of X's App Store listing, which features photos of an app experience that is primarily black.
The App Store listing for X as of Aug. 21 features dark product images that may confuse prospective users looking for Twitter's bright blue branding. Credit: App Store

Other analyses from Seufert show Twitter/ X's "Top Downloaded" chart performance against that of other social media platforms between Aug. 1 and Aug 11. WhatsApp and TikTok remain healthy and show little change and new competitor Threads also makes a strong showing in the top 10, beating WhatsApp and TikTok for certain time periods while Twitter languishes.

Given Musk's focus on revitalizing revenue, these numbers are troubling. You can't grow a business, or your bottom line, without new users.

Topics Apps Twitter

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Elizabeth de Luna

Elizabeth is a culture reporter at Mashable covering digital culture, fandom communities, and how the internet makes us feel. Before joining Mashable, she spent six years in tech, doing everything from running a wifi hardware beta program to analyzing YouTube content trends like K-pop, ASMR, gaming, and beauty. You can find more of her work for outlets like The GuardianTeen Vogue, and MTV News right here

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