From its birth in 1999 under the aegis of Elon Musk, to its metamorphosis into PayPal, until its revival in the form of X, replacing Twitter. Here is the story of X.com.
Where does X.com come from?
Founded in 1999 by Elon Musk himself, X.com is the original project of the future creator of SpaceX and Tesla. This is where the story of what would later become PayPal, the globally recognized online payment platform, begins.
After selling his first company, Zip2, to Compaq for nearly $300 million, Elon Musk wanted to build a company that would change the way people managed and accessed their money online.
What was the purpose of X.com?
Musk’s vision for X.com was to make it an online bank, but his ambitions did not stop there. He saw X.com as a one-stop solution for all online financial needs: banking, digital purchases, checks, credit cards, investments and loans.
A notable feature of X.com that set it apart from other online banks of the time was Elon Musk’s ambition to make all transactions instantaneous, with no delays for payment validation.
From X.com to PayPal
Despite this ambitious vision, X.com has not materialized exactly as Elon Musk envisioned. After a merger with Confinity, another financial startup that had developed an online payment service called PayPal, the company was eventually renamed PayPal.
X.com has become more or less obsolete, although the brainchild of X.com has continued to hold a special place in Elon Musk’s mind. In 2017, he bought the X.com domain name from PayPal, citing his ” great sentimental value”.
From Twitter to X.com: an improvised transition
Twitter’s transformation into X.com seems anything but planned. As usual, Elon Musk communicated this transition spontaneously in July 2023, chatting with his community on Twitter.
” If a good enough X logo is released tonight, we’ll bring it to life worldwide tomorrow »tweeted Elon Musk, adding that soon the Twitter brand and its iconic bird logo would be phased out.
Adding to the general impression of improvisation, it appears that the X logo is indeed the product of a spontaneous contribution from one of his followers.
What’s even more surprising is that this logo comes from a free font available at fonts.com. True to his style, Elon Musk did not seek to use an expert, but preferred to rely on his community.
This Monday morning, July 24, a surprise awaited the millions of users of the formerly named Twitter. Indeed, the iconic blue bird logo was gone, replaced by the mysterious X logo.
Elon Musk said the platform’s familiar lingo would also undergo a transformation: tweet would now become X. However, replacing the term retweet yet to be determined, showing once again Elon Musk’s somewhat improvised approach.
When accessing the new X platform app or website, users can expect a bewildering mix of familiar Twitter elements interwoven with touches of the new X universe.
There are here and there allusions to the identity of X, but the fundamental structures of the original Twitter remain omnipresent.
This situation reveals a transition process that seems all but prepared, a disconcerting improvisation that suggests an on-the-fly overhaul of one of the world’s most popular social networks. A change which, although ambitious, seems to be taking place without a defined plan.
X, the application of everything: the vision of Elon Musk
With the arrival of Elon Musk at the head of Twitter, the platform merged with a newly formed company, named X Corp. Elon Musk sees this merger as an opportunity to transform the nature of Twitter.
The goal? Make the platform X, the all-in-one application ». Linda Yaccarino, the new CEO appointed in April 2023, has been tasked with working closely with Elon Musk to realize this vision.
Elon Musk’s vision for the new X platform sounds ambitious, if imprecise. The exact details of what this means are yet to be determined, but early indications suggest an ambitious mix of services and features.
Elon Musk seems to want to use the platform to create a “ global marketplace of ideas, goods, services and opportunities ”, all supported by artificial intelligence.
This would include banking and payment services, like a return to the roots of X.com, but also more modern functions, like audio, video and messaging. We are therefore talking about an all-in-one platform.
However, despite this overview, Elon Musk’s precise vision for X still remains largely mysterious. And of course, with Elon Musk at the helm, it’s entirely possible that his vision will evolve and adapt as the project unfolds.
Do you use Google News (News in France)? You can follow your favorite media. Follow CssTricks on Google News (and ).