Musk’s X takes over @x handle from longtime user

(The Hill) – A longtime user of X, the social media platform previously known as Twitter, has given over his “@x” handle to the company, saying in an interview that he was offered multiple handles and received free merchandise in exchange.

Gene X. Hwang, co-founder of event photo company Orange Photography, told Mashable in an interview published Wednesday that he had been expecting X to contact him on the matter. 

“[I] got an email basically saying they are taking it,” Hwang told the media outlet in an email exchange, noting that the company’s email came from a generic email address and not from a company employee. 

Hwang, who had the @x handle on the platform for more than 16 years, also said that the company offered him an alternative handle with the history of the @x account so that his account can still be live. The company also offered him a new handle of his choice. 

“Alls well that ends well,” Hwang posted online Wednesday, debuting his new handle @x12345678998765.

While he didn’t get financial compensation, Hwang said X did offer some merchandise.

“Some merch and to meet with management if I like,” Hwang told Mashable. 

X’s new owner Elon Musk announced the rebranding of the social platform formerly on Sunday. As part of the switch, Musk changed his profile avatar to an X logo and the company dropped its well-known bird logo.

X, which was officially purchased by Musk last October, has undergone a slew of changes in the past months, including limiting the number of the number of direct messages a user can send and how many tweets they can see. 

It is facing new competition from Meta, the owner of Facebook, which recently launched Threads as a competitor to X. Chinese-owned social media video app TikTok also announced a new text feature on its platform earlier this week.

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