In the realm of social media, many platforms came and disappeared. But only a few platforms have left an indelible mark as profound as Twitter. Born out of a simple idea, Twitter quickly became a global hub for real-time communication, news sharing, and vibrant online communities in just a few words.
However, in the ever-evolving landscape of technology, Twitter’s journey took a fascinating twist in 2023. So now it is no longer just Twitter; it is now known as X.com and is undergoing a transformation.
But who owns Twitter, now known as X.com? Who are the transformative hands behind Twitter, what’s the history of Twitter, how come it became X.com, and is there a history of X.com?
Let’s unfold all these answers in this read.
What Is X.com?
X.com is a prominent and influential social media platform that has evolved into much more than just a means of sharing 280-character updates with the world. It was earlier known as Twitter until it announced its rebranding in 2023. It is globally used for real-time communication, news dissemination, and community engagement.
At its core, X.com allows users to post short messages, known as “Tweets,” which can include text, images, videos, links, and more. These tweets are publicly visible, which enables users to share their thoughts, opinions, news, and updates with a wide audience.
Besides, people have been using X.com, previously known as Twitter, for diverse usages, including:
- News and Information
- Social Interaction
- Marketing and Brand Promotion
- Activism and Advocacy
- Research and Analysis
Who Owns X.Com?
On October 27, 2022, business giant Elon Musk acquired Twitter for US$44 billion and, in 2023, changed its name to X. Thus, the owner of X today is Elon Musk.
Moreover, to manage the work and take forward the growth of X and beyond Twitter’s vision, Musk appointed Linda Yaccarino, a former executive of NBCUniversal, as the CEO of X Corp. and X.com, effective June 5, 2023.
Twitter Parent Company
The parent company of Twitter, Today’s X, is X Holdings Corp. Since X Corp. was established in March 2023, it is the successor to Twitter, Inc., but Twitter is now a wholly owned subsidiary of X Holdings Corp. Musk owns the holding company X Holding Corp and has a long and complex history of coming into existence.
The company owns the social networking service Twitter, which is currently rebranding to X and has announced plans to use it as a base for other offerings.
History Of X.com
The parent company of Twitter, today’s X Holdings Corp., has a long and complicated history. It involves several mergers, acquisitions, and rebranding.
1999 – The inception of X.com
X.com started as an online bank in 1999 when Elon Musk co-founded X.com with Harris Fricker, Christopher Payne, and Ed Ho. This online bank offered innovative features such as sending money using its infrared money transfer system or emails.
2000 – The merger of Confinity and X.com
However, X.com faced fierce competition from Confinity, a software company that started in 1998 called PayPal. Thus, in March 2000, Musk decided to merge X.com with Confinity, hoping to create a dominant player in the online payment industry.
The merged company initially adopted X.com as its brand’s name, as Musk believed it had a broader long-term potential than Confinity or PayPal.
However, this name was unpopular among consumers and disliked by the users as they said it sounded more like an adult website. Thus, people preferred the simpler and more descriptive name of PayPal as they considered it a pal that helps you pay and get paid.
2000 – Musk’s departure from X.com and its renaming to PayPal
Musk faced internal conflicts with the former Confinity executives and employees, who disagreed with his vision and strategy for the company.
And so, to push out Musk, the co-founders of PayPal, Peter Thiel, Levchin, and PayPal COO David O. Sacks, gathered to discuss how they could push out Musk, reported the 2015 Ashlee Vance biography of Elon Musk.
Vance further says, “They decided to sell the board on the idea of Thiel returning as CEO,”.
So, they decided to wave off Musk behind his back to avoid confronting him.
It was the time when Musk planned his honeymoon trip to Sydney. At the airport, while the couple was about to board the flight, he received a notification that executives at X.com had submitted letters expressing a lack of confidence in Musk’s leadership to the board of directors. In response to this, the board reached a consensus that Musk’s absence of a well-defined business strategy and the ways he faces technological challenges, the company has to overcome this. And consequently, Musk has to depart from his role, and Peter Thiel will be the new CEO in 2000.
Shortly after this, the company changed its name to PayPal Inc. and focused on developing its core product.
2002 – eBay bought PayPal
In February 2002, when PayPal went for its initial public offering (IPO), it raised $70.2 million and closed at $20.09 on Nasdaq.
This success of PayPal attracted the attention of eBay, the online auction giant using it as one of its payment options. Consecutively, eBay announced that it would buy PayPal for $1.5 billion in stock in July 2002.
The deal undoubtedly gave a significant advantage to eBay over its competitors in the e-commerce market, as it could offer its customers and sellers a seamless and secure payment service to its customers and sellers. But this also limited PayPal’s growth potential, as it became dependent on eBay’s platform and policies.
2015 – The PayPal and eBay split.
Since there was growing competition in the ecommerce market and PayPal also believed in innovation, their continued partnership would have hindered the growth of both parties. Thus, they decided to split and barred each of them from becoming direct competitors in their core businesses.
2017 – Musk Buys X.com Back
Ever since Musk was out of that merged bank of X.com and Confinity, he had not given up on his original idea of creating an online bank that offered more than just payments and the name X.com.
Thus 2017, when he got a chance, he reacquired the domain name X.com from PayPal for an undisclosed amount. He said that he had a sentimental attachment to the name and hinted that he might use it for a new venture in the future.
2022 – Musk Bought Twitter
In 2022, he revealed his plan to acquire Twitter, started its acquisition on April 14, 2022, and concluded it on October 27, 2022. He said that he wanted to rename it to X and transform it into an “everything app” that would offer various services and products such as messaging, social media, e-commerce, gaming, entertainment, news, education, health care, and finance, and make X similar to the WeChat used in China.
He further said that he wanted to buy Twitter and make X because he wanted to make a platform for free expression and public conversation, where a wide range of beliefs can be debated in a healthy manner without resorting to violence.
2023 – Twitter to X.com
In March 2023, Musk announced that he was rebranding Twitter into X.com. As said earlier, he said he would make X.com an everything app soon. He said he also plans to launch his own cryptocurrency, X Coin, by the end of 2023.
Musk appointed Linda Yaccarino, a former executive of NBCUniversal, as the CEO of X Holdings Corp., the parent company of X.com (formerly Twitter). He also appointed Gwynne Shotwell, the president and COO of SpaceX, as the chairwoman of X Holdings Corp., the ultimate owner of X Corp.
Twitter Founder (Today’s X.com)
Twitter was co-founded by Jack Dorsey, Noah Glass, Biz Stone, and Evan Williams. These four individuals played pivotal roles in the development and launch of Twitter in March 2006. Jack Dorsey sent the very first tweet on the platform, and together, they created a social media platform that has since become a giant name in the industry.
Jack Dorsey served as the CEO of Twitter until 2008 when he was replaced by Williams. He returned as the CEO in 2015 and led the company through several challenges and innovations.
However, in 2022, he announced that he had sold Twitter to Elon Musk for $44 billion. He also said that he would resign as the CEO of Twitter and focus on his other ventures, such as Square, a financial services company, and Bluesky, a decentralised social network project.
After purchasing Twitter, Musk rebranded Twitter into X.com, which Musk founded in 1999 as the name of the bank, but failed.
So today, Twitter, a company founded by Jack Dorsey, Noah Glass, Biz Stone, and Evan Williams, is rebranded to X.com, a company owned and founded by Musk.
Key Milestones In The History Of Twitter
The journey of Twitter since its inception has been full of setting milestones in the social media industry. Here are a few key milestones in the history of Twitter:
- In February 2006, Jack Dorsey, Noah Glass, Biz Stone, and Evan Williams started to work on Twitter.
- In March 2006, Jack Dorsey tweeted, “just setting up my twttr.”
- On July 15, 2006, Twitter was launched publicly as a service of Odeo, a podcasting company co-founded by Evan Williams, Biz Stone, and Noah Glass.
- In October 2006, Williams, Stone, and Dorsey bought out Odeo and started Obvious Corp. to develop Twitter further.
- In April 2007, Twitter spun off from Odeo, and it became an individual company, named Twitter Inc., with Jack Dorsey as the CEO of the company.
- In October 2007, Twitter raised its first round of funding, which was undisclosed but is rumoured to be between $1 million and $5 million.
- In March 2008, Twitter reached 1.3 million registered users.
- In October 2008, Evan Williams took the place of CEO, replacing Jack Dorsey, who was first appointed as the chairman of the company.
- In November 2008, Twitter rejected the $500 million acquisition offer.
- In January 2009, Twitter introduced the verified account concept into the verified profiles of celebrities, public figures, and famous personalities to increase the trust of its users.
- In March 2011, Twitter reached 200 million registered users, showing continued growth in its user base.
- In June 2011, Dick Costolo replaced Evan Williams as the CEO of Twitter. .
- In September 2011, Twitter introduced the hashtag (#) to categorise and search for tweets. The introduction of hashtags completely revolutionised content discovery.
- In November 2013, Twitter made an IPO on the New York Stock Exchange and raised $1.82 billion, a significant milestone in its financial history.
- In October 2015, marking his second stint as CEO, Jack Dorsey returned as the CEO of Twitter, replacing Dick Costolo.
- In November 2017, Twitter expanded the character limit for tweets from 140 to 280, which enabled users to create more expressive tweets.
- In January 2021, after labelling President Donald Trump’s tweets as potentially misleading for the first time in May 2020, Twitter permanently suspended President Donald Trump’s account in 2021, for inciting violence after his supporters stormed the US Capitol, raising concerns about social media content moderation.
- In June 2022, Twitter launched Twitter Blue, a subscription-based service that offers premium features such as undo tweets, bookmark folders, and reader mode.
- In October 2022, Elon Musk acquired Twitter, and after that, in the same month, he tweeted, “an accelerant to creating X, the everything app.”
- In April 2023, Elon Musk changed the name of Twitter to X.com.
Where Is X.Com, Former Twitter Headquartered?
X.com, formerly known as Twitter, is headquartered in San Francisco, even after facing a lawsuit.
Musk installed a glaring signage of X on the top of the headquarters of Twitter in San Francisco after he announced the rebranding, which breached the city’s regulations of signage and lighting.
There are also a few more things that the lawsuit has prompted Musk about the breach.
To which Musk tweeted, “Many have offered rich incentives for X (fka Twitter) to move its HQ out of San Francisco. Moreover, the city is in a doom spiral, with one company after another left or leaving. Therefore, they expect X will move too. We will not…San Francisco, beautiful San Francisco, though others forsake you, we will always be your friend.”
So, the headquarters are still in San Francisco, but since it is in controversy, the headquarters may shift.
The transformation of X.com, formerly known as Twitter, is an ever-evolving journey of technological change and visionary leadership. It all began as a platform for sharing short thoughts in 2006, but under the ownership of Elon Musk since 2022, it has gotten a facelift and is still undergoing a remarkable makeover.
Today, it’s not just a social media giant; as the words of Elon Musk mark, it is slowly becoming a versatile hub. Today, it has already become a platform for communication, commerce, and more. As the evolution continues, it seems like X.com promises to reshape our digital world and will soon redefine how we connect and interact with information.
Ravpreet is an avid writer, prone to penning compelling content that hits the right chord. A startup enthusiast, Ravpreet has written content about startups for over three years and helped them succeed. You can also find her cooking, making singing videos, or walking on quiet streets in her free time.