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Twitter's rebrand is a familiar wake-up call

Muhammad Ahmed
Muhammad Ahmed
28 Jul 2023 · 2 min


While the public's attention is often focused on dissecting what such a rebrand might mean for a company's image, future direction, and the technology industry as a whole, there is a critical dimension that is often overlooked.

These rebrands are more than just a change in name or logo; they are stark reminders of the control these platforms exert and how easily our online identities can be reshaped. In Web2, user identities and digital presences are ultimately at the mercy of their platform owners.

Déjà vu: Another reminder who’s in control

Gene X. Hwang, co-founder of the event photo company Orange Photography, had held the @X handle on Twitter for the past 16 years. But with Twitter's recent rebrand, one might imagine they reached out to Hwang, offering compensation for the coveted handle. Far from it.

Without negotiation or remuneration, Twitter simply claimed the @X handle and sent Hwang an email about this change. The reality is stark: according to platform terms and services, barring instances of trademark conflict, users hold no inherent rights to their handles. A harsh truth that left Hwang with a decidedly less catchy handle: x12345678998765.

This isn't an isolated event. When Facebook transitioned to Meta, they were faced with a very similar situation. The Instagram handle @meta was already in use by a Denver-based magazine, META. Nevertheless, the tech giant claimed the handle, reducing the magazine to a less direct @readmeta. Consequently, the magazine was compelled to rebrand to VAHNA, a shift clearly visible in their published volumes, with the rebrand beginning from their 25th volume.

Own your ________

When it comes to web2, your rights end where their terms and conditions begin.

Whether it's your digital identity, photos, data, or online presence, it only remains intact until it's convenient for these web2 platforms. Nothing is stopping them from discontinuing their service the moment they believe a different path could be more profitable or they transition into the next big thing. Just look at Google’s track record, they’ve discontinued over 285 services.

This is where Arweave comes in. Anything that is uploaded to Arweave is truly yours to own and cannot be taken away from you.

You want to own your digital identity?

Mint your identity at Arweave Name Service (ANS) and own it forever. What happens when some major company rebrands and wants your domain name? They will need to negotiate with you directly if you're even willing to sell it.

You want to own your data?

Akord enables you to store your data on Arweave in both public and private vaults. You're not at the mercy of our terms and conditions. What you upload cannot be accessed, altered, or removed by us. It will exist on Arweave forever.

Unlike companies like Google, which will begin deactivating inactive accounts starting this December, we have no such policy. Even if you don’t access your account for the next 10 years, your digital assets will remain unaltered, just as you left them.

You want to own your _______?

Dive into the Arweave ecosystem and discover a whole world of possibilities. A world where you can truly own your digital identity, presence, data and so much more.


These instances serve as timely reminders of the status quo within the Web2 world. Tech behemoths, equipped with far-reaching terms and conditions, possess the ability to reclaim, alter or simply erase our digital presence, leaving us with the question of who truly controls our digital lives.

Arweave is disrupting the current state of affairs by empowering individuals to reclaim control over their digital identities. By ensuring a truly decentralized system, Arweave allows users to genuinely own their online presence and data.

While our rights may end where their terms and conditions begin, it doesn't have to be this way. It's time we transition from digital tenants to digital homeowners. After all, shouldn't we be the true owners of our online lives?

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