Twitter X: Elon Musk’s Radical Rebrand Has Gone Too Far 

Published on
24/07/2023 11:35 AM
Twitter X Elon Musk

A white X on a black background. That is the “minimalist art deco” design Twitter owner Elon Musk has chosen to replace the platform's iconic blue logo.

But as the billionaire cages the soon-to-be former tweeting bird, he may have finally sealed the fate of a social media app spiralling at the speed of a SpaceX rocket. 

Musk has been calling his Twitter acquisition ‘X Corp’ since his takeover of the company last October, and that has been its legal entity name since he bought it. 

But now, in a radical rebranding, he wants to “ bird adieu to the Twitter brand and, gradually, all the birds” in their entirety. 

X.com now redirects to Twitter.com following a Tweet from the former CEO, and what he has called an “interim X logo” will soon replace the Twitter bird logo. 

Musk also reportedly sent an email to employees last night telling them the company would soon become X, and that it would be the last time he would send an email from a Twitter address. 

As for what the new logo will look like, Musk pinned a GIF posted by Sawyer Merritt, a Twitter user who offered the logo he previously used for his discontinued podcast.

Later Musk said he was going with the “minimalist art deco” logo but would likely be making changes to refine it at a later date.

Newly-appointed Twitter CEO Linda Yaccarino then also shared the logo, Tweeting: “X is here! Let’s do this.” 

“Twitter made one massive impression and changed the way we communicate. Now, X will go further, transforming the global town square,” 

“There’s absolutely no limit to this transformation,” she added. “X will be the platform that can deliver, well... everything.”

X, the everything app

Twitter’s soon-to-be former bluebird is called Larry – which, Twitter’s co-founder Biz Stone has said is a tribute to basketball player and Boston Celtics star Larry Bird.

Twitter's website says its logo, depicting a blue bird, is "our most recognisable asset". "That's why we're so protective of it," it added.

It is not the first time Larry has been caged, however. In April, Musk temporarily replaced the logo with Dogecoin’s Shiba Inu dog and was later driving a surge in the coin’s market value.

But the re-brand to X will be permanent and will be a critical aspect of the social media platform’s transformation under Musk. The letter “X” has been on just about everything the billionaire has touched for the last two-plus decades. 

X.com was the original name for Paypal; it’s in his SpaceX company name; it’s in the name for the Tesla SUV; and it anchors his new OpenAI competitor called XAI. Now he’s finally doing something with the X.com domain he bought back from Paypal in 2017.

Musk previously said he wants to turn Twitter into “X, the everything app” – similar to apps like WeChat in China which allow users to pay for a range of services through a finance system. 

This rebranding of the site will be the clearest declaration yet that this is the direction Twitter will be heading. What’s for sure is that the app is no longer the same social network that it was before Musk purchased it last year. 

Mike Proulx, research director at Forrester, said on Sunday that Musk’s X.corop would only further alienate Twitter’s original – and once fiercely loyal – user base.

“On the one hand, you can make the argument he would be getting rid of an iconic brand. On the other hand, he is signalling it is a new day for what was once Twitter and that the company is heading in a different direction with a different user base.”

Goodbye Twitter 

Long-time users have already criticised Musk's sudden re-brand. Marques Brownlee, who joined the service back in 2009, says he’ll still call it Twitter, to which Musk replied, “Not for long.”

It is just one of the latest controversial changes that have pushed users away from Musk’s soon-to-be-bygone tweeting app. 

The CEO was heavily criticised for overhauling Twitter’s legacy verification system for a ‘Twitter Blue paywall’ which allows any paying subscriber of Twitter Blue to receive a blue tick. 

Users and marketers were also heavily critical when Musk announced earlier this month that there would be a limit on the number of tweets account holders can read per day in a bid to stop “excessive data scraping” from AI companies. 

The move caused such a stir that it spurred Zuckerberg’s Meta to announce the launch of its own Twitter rival ‘Threads’ in a seeming effort to take advantage of the chaos.

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