Social Commotion: Twitter Rebrands to X, SAG-AFTRA Strike Influencer Impacts & More

Welcome to another edition of Social Commotion, Motion's monthly social media roundup. Here are the top social media updates from July 2023.

Elon Musk Rebrands Twitter to X

Twitter owner Elon Musk announced that he is rebranding the company as X. The billionaire said last week that he wanted to “bid adieu to the Twitter brand and, gradually, all the birds.” Musk said he crowdsourced the design and chose the letter X because it “represents the unknown and the potential.”

Musk’s decision to rebrand Twitter is part of his plan to transform the company into an “everything app.” He has said that he wants X to be a platform people can use for payments, news, and food orders. Musk’s rebranding of Twitter has been met with mixed reactions. Some have praised the new logo and the company’s new direction. Others have criticized the move, saying it is unnecessary and will alienate users.

The best part: Mark Zuckerberg’s Meta received a trademark in 2019 for its own X logo to be used across a variety of internet-related services, including social networking and digital messaging.

Grab the popcorn.

Threads Reaches 100 Million Users

We previously discussed Meta’s new Threads app, a Twitter replacement that connects to Instagram. Since then, Threads launched and has become the fastest-growing app of all time, receiving over 100 million downloads (and 70 million less than two days after launch, no less).

Here are some quick facts about the newest app from Meta:

  • Threads beat out ChatGPT as the fasting-growing mobile app.
  • An improved search function is coming to Threads, including active hashtags on the platform.
  • Meta hopes to move the focus away from controversial news and politics and toward pleasant human relationships.
  • There are plans for a separate “following” feed, similar to Twitter, so users can find content from those they follow.
  • It’s unlikely that Threads will have in-app direct messaging capabilities, as Meta is currently working to integrate its messaging tools into a single platform.
  • Users are currently unable to delete the Threads app without deleting their connected Instagram account; they can only deactivate Threads at this time.

SAG-AFTRA Says Influencers are Part of the Strike

If you’ve been following the latest strike affecting the entire entertainment industry, prepare for it to involve some brands and marketers. When SAG-AFTRA went on strike on July 19 to secure better pay and working conditions for its members, consumers’ immediate impacts were clear.  

But this strike also affects influencers who work with brands that are members of the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), such as Disney, Hulu, Netflix and Amazon. Influencers who are not part of SAG-AFTRA but “perform covered work or services for a struck company during the strike” will not be eligible for future membership in the union. 

For those who are curious, here are some of the guidelines SAG-AFTRA released that influencers should follow:

  • Not promoting screenings or content produced by struck companies.
  • Not working with brands that are members of the AMPTP on new projects.
  • Fulfilling existing contractual obligations with struck companies but not accepting new contracts.

Want to know what social media experts believe will be the secret to effective social postings in the second half of the year? Four crucial elements must be met to be successful, according to Social Media Today:

  • The Fundamentals: It is critical to follow best practices for each social platform to guarantee that you are reaching your target audiences where they are. These best practices will likely remain consistent in social media regardless of the latest developments, making it crucial to master the basics to meet your brand’s goals.
  • New Trends: Once you’ve got a rock-solid social media foundation, you can jump in on social trends. Trends encompass both the types of postings brands should lean into and the platforms that brands should use (such as Threads). Keeping up with the latest trends keeps your brand fresh and interesting to all audiences.
  • AI: Of course, AI will continue to be a focus of marketers in 2023. Remembering this while using AI to generate new social media content is critical. It will be valuable to us as social media professionals and intriguing to observe how social networks adopt AI into their platforms, such as Instagram’s new AI chatbot.
  • Video: This should come as no surprise: Video content continues to dominate social media platforms. After introducing Reels, Instagram reported a significant rise in engagement, and TikTok continues to see increased engagement and reach.