If it’s not broken, don’t fix it. Sound words to live by unless you’re Elon Musk, who just can’t help but ruin a good thing. Musk, who purchased Twitter in 2022, has now decided to reinvent the app completely, rebranding to ‘X’ and planning to create an “everything app”.
The tech billionaire, who took over the platform in October 2022, launched the new logo over the weekend after crowdsourcing ideas for users. He also reportedly informed employees by email that Twitter would become X, as well as redirected the domain X.com to Twitter.com.
Last night, Musk started tweeting — and did so for hours — about the Twitter rebrand to X, the one-letter name he’s used repeatedly in company and product names forever. It started with a tweet saying, “soon we shall bid adieu to the twitter brand and, gradually, all the birds,” followed by a second tweet adding that “if a good enough X logo is posted tonight, we’ll make go live worldwide tomorrow.”
Linda Yaccarino, who Musk hired to be the chief executive of Twitter last month, confirmed the switch to the new “everything app” in a series of tweets late on Sunday. “It’s an exceptionally rare thing – in life or in business – that you get a second chance to make another big impression,” she wrote.
“Twitter made one massive impression and changed the way we communicate. Now, X will go further, transforming the global town square.”
Yaccarino described the app as the “future state of unlimited interactivity”, incorporating audio, video, messaging, payments and banking. “There’s absolutely no limit to this transformation,” she added. “X will be the platform that can deliver, well… everything.”
Musk then, over the next several hours, gestured at the change in between other posts and replies, tweeting things like “Deus X,” or replying to other users talking about it. At one point, he joined a Twitter Spaces session called “No one talk until we summon Elon Musk,” and sat silently for almost an hour before unmuting and confirming he would be changing Twitter’s logo tomorrow, adding, “we’re cutting the Twitter logo from the building with blowtorches.”
Musk also reportedly sent an email last night to Twitter employees telling them the company would become X, and that it was the last time he would email from a Twitter address, according to a Threads post from Platformer managing editor Zoe Schiffer. She added that she assumed he was talking about the logo since Twitter’s business was already renamed X corp.
As for what the new logo will look like, Musk pinned a GIF that was posted by Sawyer Merritt, a Twitter user who offered the logo, which he said was used for his discontinued podcast. Later Musk said he was going with the “minimalist art deco” logo but would probably make changes to refine it later. Yaccarino then shared the logo as well, saying “X is here! Let’s do this.” It’s now being used for Musk’s profile pic.
While some Musk fans applaud the change, or anything the man does, long-time users of the messaging service aren’t particularly enthused by the change. Tech YouTuber Marques Brownlee, who joined the service back in 2009, says he’ll still call it Twitter, to which Musk responded, “Not for long.” Ominous.
Finally rebranding the site will be the clearest declaration yet that this is no longer the same social network that it was before Musk purchased it last year. But it’s far from the only change in the Musk era of Twitter.
Most recently, Twitter said it would limit the number of DMs for non-paying users, a LinkedIn-like hiring feature showed up for Verified Organisations, and Musk said the site would soon let users post ”very long, complex articles” to the site. The article feature seems to be called Articles, but at one point was apparently called Notes — you know, the name for article site Substack’s Twitter clone.
Twitter has managed to survive all of the changes that Musk has implemented, but is a complete rebrand too far for loyal users? The Twitter logo is nothing short of iconic, most of us have grown up with it, and the change will certainly take some getting used to if users decide to stick around. Unfortunately, X just doesn’t have that same ring to it, but who knows? Maybe we’ll be avid X users from here on out.