From blue bird to ‘X’: Here’s everything we know about the new Twitter logo
- A stylized white X on a black background became the new logo on the website of Twitter.
- The transformation is a way for Musk to create app with offerings beyond social media.
- Marketing and branding experts said the rebrand risked losing years of Twitter’s name recognition.
It has only been eight months since Elon Musk completed his US$44 billion deal to own Twitter, but the social media platform has gone through quite a ride under the ownership of the business magnate ever since. So much so that this week, Twitter has a brand new logo, replacing its decades-old iconic blue bird. This means the social media platform will soon 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 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 the fan-made design. Not much later, 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 decades-held 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. The blue bird logo are gradually being erased from the service entirely — and as of the time of writing, the website’s favicon has been replaced while the classic blue bird 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 turned off 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.
Just before buying Twitter, Musk 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.” According to Reuters’ memo, the company will work on new features in audio, video, messaging, payments, and banking.
For now, the move of Musk’s renaming of Twitter as X is still fresh, and could turn out to be one of his biggest missteps since buying the company or a stroke of brilliance. Experts are leaning toward the former. Indeed, a sharp name change and a new logo can 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 lots of change 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 creators can share with followers.
The short-form video app allows sharing text-based posts with music and stickers, similar to Instagram Stories. Tech Wire Asia will be following up on this closely. Stay tuned for an in-depth article once the new TikTok feature enters the mainstream market.
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