In the quest for the American “super-app,” the company formerly known as Twitter ditched the blue bird and rebranded to X. Owner Elon Musk has stated that the move is strategic since Twitter no longer represents the long-term goal of the company, which is to expand the platform’s capabilities in a number of ways, including to offer banking and payment solutions.
The concept and development of a multipurpose super-app has been slow to gain traction in the U.S., whereas WeChat continues to dominate in China. WeChat is not just a messaging app, but also a social media app and a digital wallet that allows payments. Is X likely to become the WeChat of the West?
Data suggests it will attract some current users, but not all. First off, the rebrand to X appears to be polarizing. Data collected directly following the rebrand found that reactions to it skewed more toward the negative than positive among the general population. However, Twitter users at the time were more favorable than unfavorable to the rebrand.
Nearly one-quarter of all respondents said they were at least somewhat likely to use X with its expected features, while the majority of Twitter users expressed interest. August data show sentiments continue to remain the same at the time of writing. Looking ahead, who is likely to embrace the new version of Twitter? Here are three insights from the CivicScience InsightStore:
Men are more likely
The X app appeals to more men than women. Among the U.S. adult population, men are overall more likely than women to look forward to using the new X app (29% to 24%). Among those who have used Twitter in the last six months, the most avid male Twitter/X users are significantly more likely to be interested in using the freshly-rebranded X app than female users – 50% of daily male users are ‘very interested,’ compared to 26% of daily female users. Conversely, weekly and monthly female users express greater interest than male users.
People who plan to switch banks
With goals for X to include financial and banking capabilities, the app could leverage that a high percentage of potential users are looking for better or alternative financial solutions. As of July, CivicScience data show that 23% of U.S. adults are considering switching banks in the near future (next three months); 7% are ‘very likely’ to do this. When it comes to interest in X, those who are ‘very interested’ in the app far over-index in likelihood to switch banks at 18%. Finding new banking solutions is an above-average likelihood for those who are even ‘somewhat interested’ in X.
People who like Elon Musk
Musk has become a controversial and somewhat polarizing figure in the public eye. His favorability plummeted in CivicScience tracking over the course of 2022, but has since rebounded a bit in 2023. As of July, 35% of the Gen Pop is favorable to Musk, while 40% is unfavorable (and 24% is neutral).
Favorability toward Musk appears to play a key role in expectations for using X. A whopping 80% of respondents who are ‘very interested’ in using the app and 56% who are ‘somewhat interested’ are favorable of Musk. That’s compared to just 22% of those who are not interested in using X.
Additional InsightStore insights:
- People who invest in cryptocurrency – or plan to: It was reported in April that Twitter partnered with fintech company eToro to begin to allow stocks and cryptocurrency trading on the platform. While it’s not confirmed that X will bring in this capability, data show high interest in the app among cryptocurrency investors (19% ‘very interested’ in using X) – and even greater interest among those who plan to invest in crypto (26% ‘very interested’ in using X).
- Republicans: Politically, respondents who identify as Republican are twice as likely (29%) as Democrats (9%) and Independents (10%) to be ‘very interested’ in using X. Overall, X has much greater appeal to Republicans.
- People who trust technology companies with their personal data: The capability to integrate payment and financial solutions into the platform requires some degree of trust in X to protect user data. Findings show that those who are interested in using X are nearly three times as likely to say they have a high degree of trust in tech companies such as Apple and Google to protect their personal privacy.
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