To say there have been some changes at Twitter is a vast understatement. We’ve provided a great deal of coverage regarding Elon Musk and his acquisition of the social media platform, including its recent rebranding to X. [Editor’s Note: Which, it turns out, several other companies already hold the copywrite to. Including Microsoft, who has actually held the trademark since 2003.]
But when a rebranding occurs, what happens if someone already is using the name you rebrand to? Well, we know, and the answer is likely not as epic or climactic as you would anticipate.
Over a decade and a half ago, Gene X. Hwang registered himself on Twitter as @X. Hwang is the co-founder of Orange Photography, and let’s face it, @X is a pretty simple and memorable name. It’s right up there with @Y or @Z. When the rebrand was announced, Hwang was anticipating some negotiations or a discussion about the use of the handle. Indeed, he was contacted about it. But email he received just flat out informed him the company was taking it.
Yes, even though you registered a cool name, it doesn’t mean you own that name- especially when it’s something as generic as the letter X. So what does Hwang go by now on Twitter? @x12345678998765. At least it’s easy to remember as long as you know it stops descending at 5.
According to an interview, Hwang can pick another name of his choosing for his account; he just hasn’t settled on one yet.
Hwang was reportedly offered “some merchandise,” and a “meeting with management.” Shameless self-promotion or equivalent exchange, we’re not sure. Either way, it signifies the full shift the company has made from Twitter to X in a very short span of time. So when it comes to being shafted on your user name it’s safe to say, “X Gon’ Give it to Ya.”