STOCKHOLM, July 24 (Reuters) – After 17 years with the iconic Blue Bird logo that came to symbolize broadcasting ideas to the world, billionaire Elon Musk has rebranded Twitter as X and unveiled a new logo, marking a new focus for the “App Everything” build.
On Monday, a white X on a black background became the new logo on Twitter, though the blue bird is still seen on the mobile app.
Since taking over Twitter in October, Musk said he envisions an app that could offer a variety of services to users outside of social media, such as peer-to-peer payments, an idea mirroring WeChat, widely popular in China.
The new logo got mixed reactions from users and sparked confusion about what tweets would now be called, while marketing and branding experts said rebranding risked throwing away years of Twitter’s name recognition.
“Few brands have become verbs or have seen themselves referred to in global news outlets as often as Twitter,” said Matt Rhodes, strategy lead at creative agency House 337, which has worked with British telecoms firm Sky.
“Anything that makes it difficult for people to find the app or want to open it on their crowded phone screens risks harming usability,” he said.
It usually takes time to change brands, said Fernando Machado, who previously held marketing director positions at Activision Blizzard, Restaurant Brands International, and Burger King, though “as a Twitter user, I admit I miss the little bird already.”
“Personally, I think the new approach seems a little cold and impersonal,” he said.
“#GoodbyeTwitter” was trending on the platform on Monday referring to the old logo as some users criticized the new logo.
“Soon we will be showing goodbye to the Twitter brand and, gradually, all the birds,” Musk tweeted on Saturday.
In response to a tweet asking which tweets would be named under the X, Musk responded with “x’s”.
Musk has used the letter X over and over again across his companies. He co-founded x.com as an online bank in 1999 which later transformed into PayPal. He bought the domain back from PayPal in 2017, saying it had “sentimental value”.
Domain x.com now redirects to Twitter.
X will “go to great lengths to change the global cityscape,” said Linda Iaccarino, former advertising director at NBCUniversal, who started as CEO of Twitter on June 5, telling staff in a note Monday.
The company will work on new features in voice, video, messaging, payments and banking services, according to the note seen by Reuters.
The platform will face challenges to reinvent its business.
Since Musk’s acquisition, the company has faced turbulent times with layoffs, a sharp drop in the number of advertisers and a rapid rise in the number of threads, Twitter’s meta response.
“The past few months have been a tumultuous one for Twitter, and I don’t think a new brand is going to solve everything,” said Drew Benfi, CEO of social media consulting firm Pattenhall.
“It’s less about reinventing Twitter, and more about building a brand around Elon Musk’s empire, including SpaceX, which is where Brand X is closely associated.”
Additional reporting by Subanta Mukherjee in Stockholm, Martin Coulter and Aiden Nolte in London, Barat Govind Gautam in Bengaluru, and Sheela Dang in Dallas; Editing by Barbara Lewis and Jonathan Otis
Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
“Beer aficionado. Gamer. Alcohol fanatic. Evil food trailblazer. Avid bacon maven.”