Elon Musk swipes X Twitter handle from user who had it for 16 years

Elon Musk has switched the username of his X app from @Twitter to @X, swiping the handle from the previous owner of 16 years.

The tycoon launched his rebrand of the social network previously known as Twitter after announcing major changes last weekend (Sunday, July 23) which also saw him trade out the iconic blue bird logo in favour of a striking black X.

Taking to the platform, Musk wrote: "And soon we shall bid adieu to the Twitter brand and, gradually, all the birds."

READ MORE: Elon Musk reveals to his 150m followers how to avoid living 'a cursed and hollow life'

The single-letter username was previously attributed to the co-founder of photo firm Orange Photography Gene X Hwang, who reportedly wasn't paid for Musk's use of the handle.

On Tuesday (July 25) Hwang said he had not been contacted by either Musk or X despite the takeover, which had come into effect by Wednesday, according to the Telegraph.

"Alls well that ends well," Hwang posted from his new account with the much less catchy username @x12345678998765.

While Hwang didn't get a penny for the username, he was reportedly offered company merchandise by X.

The Daily Star has contacted X for further information.

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Musk's rebrand comes as part of a wider plan to transform the Twitter we know and love into an "everything app" incorporating audio, video, messaging, payments and banking.

Linda Yaccarino, who Musk hired to be X's chief executive last month, said: "Twitter made one massive impression and changed the way we communicate. Now, X will go further, transforming the global town square."

She added: "There’s absolutely no limit to this transformation.

"X will be the platform that can deliver, well… everything."

The app's overhaul has so far proved controversial, with users likening the new website domain – x.com – to an adult website.

And it's not the only aspect of Musk's Twitter takeover that's proved unpopular since the SpaceX mogul bought the plaform for a whopping £34bn in October 2022.

He has previously come under fire for firing swathes of staff, creating the paid Twitter Blue feature, and limiting the number of tweets a person can see in a day.

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