X (FKA Twitter) Has a Big Discovery Problem

Ariel Ariel
8/11/23

This is a single insight from This Week in Apps - Back to School. Check out the full article for more insights.


Twitter is no more. It's now X.

Well, almost! Twitter Lite, an Android app from Twitter that's targeted mainly at India and Indonesia, was not renamed as part of the rebrand and is still available on Google Play.

And now that it's technically the only Twitter app with "Twitter" in its name, it's getting a lot more downloads.

Twitter, the brand, is ubiquitous. The name is known even by those who don't know what the platform is about because it's mentioned in movies, newscasts, and newspapers, all the time.

That means people go into the App Store or Google Play and search for Twitter to learn more about it, which isn't the case for most other apps. That was a positive. A reason Twitter's growth continued.

Even though Twitter is the first result when you search for X in the US, those who don't know that Twitter became X won't find what they're looking for and will eventually give up.

In India, Indonesia, and surrounding countries, those looking for Twitter shifted their downloads from the flagship app (X) to the lite app which wasn't renamed.

According to our estimates, Twitter Lite was getting about 13K daily downloads before the rebrand. Like the main app, downloads of Lite have been sloping down since the beginning of the year.

After the rebrand, downloads of Twitter Lite rose to more than 60K every day. It's down a bit now, 54K on Wednesday for a total of 503K times, according to our estimates. Last month it got 204K downloads in the same range.

While insignificant in the grand scheme of things, this is a clear indicator that X totally dropping the Twitter brand is, at best confusing and, more realistically, a mistake that's hurting growth.

Just like what Elon is doing with the logo though, I suspect "X" will become "X (FKA Twitter)" soon. Or, at least that's what I hope to see.

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