Twitter has launched its new logo, dropping the blue bird on its website for an X as part of a wider rebranding.
The social media network’s site on Monday showed the company’s new logo: a white X on a black background.
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Twitter owner Elon Musk and its Chief Executive Officer Linda Yaccarino unveiled the new logo for the social media network.
“X is here! Let’s do this,” tweeted Yaccarino, who also posted a picture of the logo projected on the company’s offices in San Francisco. The new logo is the latest change since Musk bought the social media platform for $44bn last year.
On Sunday, Twitter’s billionaire said in a series of posts that he was looking to make the change worldwide as soon as Monday.
Musk tweeted: “And soon we shall bid adieu to the Twitter brand and, gradually, all the birds”.
Lights. Camera. X! pic.twitter.com/K9Ou47Qb4R
— Linda Yaccarino (@lindayacc) July 24, 2023
The transformation is more simply a way for Musk to make his mark on the company, said Tom Morton, the global chief strategy officer at advertising agency R/GA. “Twitter’s changing name and logo has nothing to do with user, advertiser, or market issues. It’s a symbol that Twitter is Elon Musk’s personal property.
“He conquered the castle, now he’s flying his own flag.”
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.
“Only a few brands have become verbs or seen themselves referred to in global news outlets as often as Twitter has,” said Matt Rhodes, the strategy lead at creative agency House 337, which has worked with the United Kingdom’s telecom company Sky.
“Anything that makes it harder for people to find, or want to open the app on their cluttered phone screens risks harming usage,” he said.
Fernando Machado, who previously held chief marketing officer roles at Activision Blizzard, Restaurant Brands International and Burger King, said rebrands typically took time to sink in, though “as a Twitter user, I confess that I miss the little bird already”.
“Personally, I think the new approach feels a bit cold and impersonal,” he said.
Outside Twitter’s headquarters in San Francisco on Monday, police stopped construction workers from removing the Twitter sign in a scene witnessed by a Reuters reporter. On one side of the building, only the blue bird and the letters “er” were left.
“#GoodbyeTwitter” was trending on the platform with reference to the old logo as several users criticised the new one.
Musk on Sunday polled his millions of Twitter followers on whether they would favour changing the site’s colour scheme from blue to black.
Under Musk’s tumultuous tenure since he bought Twitter in October 2022, the company has changed its business name to X Corp, reflecting his vision to create a “super app” like China’s WeChat.
Last October, he said that “buying Twitter is an accelerant to creating X, the everything app”.
Musk’s rocket company, Space Exploration Technologies Corp, is commonly known as SpaceX. In 1999, Musk co-founded a startup called X.com, an online financial services company now known as PayPal.
He bought the domain back from PayPal in 2017, saying it had “sentimental value”. The domain x.com now redirects to Twitter.
Twitter CEO Yaccarino told employees in a memo on Monday that X “will go even further to transform the global town square”.
The company will work on new features in audio, video, messaging, payments and banking, according to the memo, which was seen by Reuters news agency.
Twitter is thought to have approximately 200 million daily active users but has suffered repeated technical failures since the tycoon bought the so-called bird app in 2022 and sacked much of its staff.
Since then, many users and advertisers alike have soured on the social media site due to charges introduced for previously free services, changes to content moderation and the return of previously banned right-wing accounts.
Musk said earlier this month that Twitter has lost roughly half of its advertising revenue since he took control in October.
The rebrand indicates Musk has given up on any plans “to revive Twitter as a powerful stand-alone social network and simply considers the $44 billion spent on the network a sunk cost”, said Niklas Myhr, a professor of marketing at Chapman University.
“The last few months have been tumultuous at Twitter and I don’t think a new brand is going to solve everything,” Drew Benvie, the CEO of social media consultancy Battenhall, said.
“This is less about reinventing Twitter and more about building a brand around Elon Musk’s empire, including SpaceX, where the X branding really connects a little more closely.”
It now also has new competition from Facebook parent Meta, which earlier this month launched its own text-based platform, called Threads, which has up to 150 million users according to some estimates.
But the amount of time users spend on the rival app has plummeted in the weeks since its launch, according to data from market analysis firm Sensor Tower.