It is the end of the blue bird era for Twitter. Here comes Musk’s ‘X’
- The new logo of Twitter marks a new era for the social media platform that has been known for its blue bird and ‘tweets’ for over 17 years.
- Analysts view the changes as a way for Musk to achieve his vision that the app could offer various services to users beyond social media.
It is time to savor the final days of Twitter in its original state — the social media platform is at the brink of its most drastic transformation, and it’s more than just a brand new logo. There is no denying that Twitter has undergone drastic changes over the last eight months since Elon Musk completed his US$44 billion deal to own the platform.
But none have come close to what the 17-year-old social platform is enduring this week. Its iconic blue bird is spending its last hours as the app’s symbol. Started in the US on July 24 this week, the app and its website are gradually being transformed to be known as ‘X,’ and tweets will be dubbed ‘x’s.’
It all started on July 22 when Elon Musk tweeted, “Soon we shall bid adieu to the Twitter brand and, gradually, all the birds.” The next 48 hours were followed by speculations on what the rebranding could mean and what new logo would replace the iconic blue bird. On the afternoon of July 23, Sunday, Musk tweeted an indication that “If a good enough X logo is posted tonight, we’ll go live worldwide tomorrow.”
Within the next 30 minutes, a user that goes by the name @SawyerMerritt posted a three seconds video of what would potentially be the new Twitter logo. Musk retweeted the video, indicating his preference for that particularly fan-made design. Not too long after, Musk changed his profile image to the new logo. He even posted a picture of the structure projected on Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters.
The transition happened too quickly for many to grasp. By the morning of July 24, Twitter began replacing its decade-long logo with a fan-made “𝕏” logo. It was all over Twitter’s homepage, as a profile picture for its official Twitter account, and on a splash screen displayed while the website loads. However, it is worth noting that the blue bird logo hasn’t been erased from the service entirely — it still serves as the website’s favicon and remains prominent throughout the mobile apps.
What does the new logo mean for Twitter?
Looking back, the rebrand comes after months of erratic behavior by Musk, which impacted users and pushed away advertisers, leaving Twitter in a troubled financial position and increasingly vulnerable to competition. For context, Musk had already converted Twitter’s corporate name to X Corp, a subsidiary of X Holding Corp, as revealed in an April court filing.
Musk has used the letter X repeatedly across his companies. He co-founded x.com as an online bank in 1999, which later transformed into PayPal. He repurchased the domain from PayPal in 2017, saying it had “sentimental value.” In the US, the domain x.com now redirects to Twitter.
“The new logo garnered mixed reactions from users and sparked confusion about what tweets would now be called, while marketing and branding experts said the rebrand risked throwing away years of Twitter’s name recognition,” Reuters stated in an article yesterday.
Before buying Twitter, Musk had even said last October that he viewed the US$44 billion deal as “an accelerant to creating X, the everything app.” In fact, for as long as Twitter has been on Musk’s mind, he has envisioned an app that could offer various services to users beyond social media, such as peer-to-peer payments. The idea mirrors the widely popular WeChat app in China.
Quoting Tom Morton, global chief strategy officer at ad agency R/GA, Reuters stated that the transformation is simply a way for Musk to make his mark on the company. “Twitter’s changing name and logo has nothing to do with user, advertiser, or market issues. It symbolizes that Twitter is Elon Musk’s personal property,” Morton told Reuters.
Linda Yaccarino, Twitter’s CEO since June 5, also told employees in a memo on Monday that X “will go even further to transform the global town square.” And its believed that the company will work on new audio, video, messaging, payments, and banking features.
For now, the move of Musk’s renaming of Twitter as X is still fresh, and it can either turn out to be one of his biggest missteps since buying the company or a stroke of brilliance. There are arguments on both sides. But, indeed, a sharp name change and a new logo could help change perceptions about a tattered brand like Twitter.
The social wind of change?
The wind of change has not only been apparent in Twitter; there has been a surge of activity in the social media space over the last few weeks. Besides Twitter’s rebrand and the launch of Threads to take on Twitter’s microblogging dominance, TikTok has announced a new text feature this week that will broaden the kinds of content that creators can share with followers.
The short-form video app allows sharing text-based posts with music and stickers, similar to Instagram Stories, and we’ll be digging into the impact of the update once the new TikTok feature enters the mainstream market.
3 October 2023
3 October 2023
3 October 2023