Twitter Rebrands as ‘X’ in Next Step Toward ‘Everything App’

Elon Musk has begun rebranding Twitter as X with a simple black letter X-ing out the iconic blue bird logo. The reaction has been mixed so far. Some say it conjures cool, as in “X marks the spot,” while others suggest it evokes a corporate industrial “Big Brother” that could negatively impact the successful brand. Whether it will help Musk and CEO Linda Yaccarino monetize the social service remains to be seen, but it definitely marks a clean break from a colorful past. On Monday, at Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters, feathered features like the company logo that once lorded over the cafeteria were removed, and stylized X logos were projected.

Conference rooms were rechristened with names like “eXult,” “eXposure” and “s3Xy,” according to The New York Times. The introduction of the simple, black-and-white X logo is an inflection point at which Musk seeks to move his platform away from the legacy socials and toward his stated goal of becoming an “everything app,” the U.S. incarnation of China’s WeChat, which in addition to social communication includes features for shopping and banking.

Presaging the move, on Saturday Musk tweeted, “And soon we shall bid adieu to the Twitter brand and, gradually, all the birds.”

“When brands become verbs, it’s the ‘holy grail,’ said Mike Proulx, a vice president and research director at Forrester, because it means they have become part of popular culture,” writes NYT, which goes on to quote him saying, “Musk has essentially wiped out 15 years of brand value from Twitter and is now essentially starting from scratch.”

Of course, many users took umbrage at the abrupt shift in tone, with actor Mark Hamill posting: “Has everybody seen the (eXecrable) new logo? #ByeByeBirdie.” Mike Carr, co-founder of NameStormers, told NYT that the new X logo “could be interpreted as having an ominous ‘Big Brother’ tech overlord vibe, unlike the blue bird, which he described as warm and cuddly but perhaps a bit dated and weighed down by bad press.”

NBC News couched the rebrand in its larger context of reinventing the social platform as a “transformation of what was once a humble microblogging app” into something with far more utility.

“You basically live on WeChat in China because it’s so usable and helpful to daily life,” said Musk last year, “and I think if we can achieve that, or even get close to that at Twitter, it would be an immense success.”

Musk Explains Why He’s Rebranding Twitter to X: It’s Not Just a Name Change, CNBC, 7/25/23
Elon Musk’s Rebranded Twitter Cuts Ad Prices, The Wall Street Journal, 7/25/23
Elon Musk’s Pivot to X Draws Strong Opinions Across Twitter, The Wall Street Journal, 7/24/23
Twitter Is Turning into X. Analysts Don’t See the Treasure Map, The Washington Post, 7/24/23
Twitter Turning into X Is Set to Kill Billions in Brand Value, Bloomberg, 7/24/23
Elon Musk’s Twitter Rebrand Is Off to a Rocky Start, The Hill, 7/25/23

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