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April 24, 2024

For more than a decade, Twitter has been known for its blue and white bird logo, a symbol of the social network’s unique culture and vocabulary. “tweet” became a verb. “Tweet” means a post. “Tweeps” became a nickname for Twitter employees.

Elon Musk started to shake it all off late Sunday.

The tech billionaire, who bought Twitter last year, rebranded the social platform as X.com on his website and began replacing the bird logo with a stylized version of the 24th letter of the Latin alphabet.

At Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters on Monday, an X logo was projected into the cafeteria and conference rooms were renamed with words with Xs in it, including “eXposure,” “eXult” and “s3Xy,” according to photos reviewed by The New York Times. Workers also began removing bird-related paraphernalia, such as a giant blue sign in the cafeteria. Outside the building, staff members removed the first six letters of Twitter’s name before the SPD stopped them for “unauthorized work,” according to an alert issued by the San Francisco Police Department.

Mr. Musk had long indicated he might change the name, but he hastened the process. tweet Earlier on Sunday, he announced that “soon we will be saying goodbye to the Twitter brand, and gradually to all birds.” He has said he wants to make Twitter an “app for everything” called X, covering not just social networking but banking and shopping.

Earlier Monday, Musk also shared a photo A giant X was projected on Twitter’s San Francisco office, with the caption: “Our headquarters tonight.”

The ongoing moves are the most visible changes Musk has made to Twitter since closing the deal to acquire the company in October. Behind the scenes, he has taken many steps to overhaul the company, laying off thousands of employees and changing the platform’s functionality, including the badges used to authenticate users and the rules governing what can and cannot be said on the service.

The name and logo changes, however, cannot be ignored. By starting to delete the Twitter name, Musk is jettisoning an entrenched brand that has existed since the company’s founding in 2006 and that has delighted and frustrated celebrities, politicians, athletes and other users alike. Twitter launched its bluebird mascot in 2010 and updated it two years later.

Many Twitter users who have spent years tweeting and building a presence on the site seem alienated by the shift. “Has everyone seen the (eXecrable) new logo?” Actor Mark Hamill tweet On Monday, the hashtag #ByeByeBirdie. Others saw the move as Musk’s latest crackdown on the site, with some adamant that they would still call the site Twitter and would continue to “tweet.”

Mike Proulx, vice president and research director at Forrester, said that when brands become verbs, it’s the “holy grail” because it means they’ve become part of popular culture.

“The app itself has become a cultural phenomenon in various ways,” he said. “Elon Musk wiped out 15 years of Twitter’s brand value in one fell swoop and is now basically starting from scratch.”

Musk ran the risk of angering Twitter users, even though he couldn’t afford to anger them. His company is facing financial difficulties and growing competition from rival Meta, which this month released a real-time public conversation app called Threads. The new app quickly racked up 100 million downloads in less than a week, despite heavy scrutiny over its use.

Mike Carr, co-founder of branding firm NameStormers, said Musk’s X logo could be read as having an ominous “Big Brother” tech overlord vibe. Unlike the Bluebird, the new logo is “very jarring,” he said, which he described as warm and lovely, but perhaps a bit dated and subject to negative press.

Still, it brings to mind phrases like “X marks the location,” and could help Musk distinguish the platform from Twitter’s baggage, Carr said.

“If they did it wrong and it was done by anyone other than Elon Musk, he would be at a higher risk because people might start making fun of it,” Mr Carr said. He has helped thousands of clients come up with names, including used car company CarMax.

Mr. Musk has long been interested in the name X. In 1999, he helped found the X.com, an online bank. The company changed its name to PayPal after merging with another startup.

In 2017, Musk said he bought back the X.com domain name from PayPal. “There are no plans at the moment, but it has a lot of emotional value to me,” he said. tweet then.

Mr. Musk’s electric car maker, Tesla, also has a sport utility vehicle called the Model X. One of Mr. Musk’s sons, X Æ A-12 Musk, is often referred to simply as X. The holding company created to complete the Twitter acquisition was named X Holdings. Mr. Musk also leads an artificial intelligence company called xAI.

“I like the letter X,” he release on Sunday.

Musk has shown disdain for Twitter’s previous corporate culture. He disputes the number of mentions of birds in team names and products within the company. At one point, he changed the name of a crowdsourced fact-checking feature from “Birdwatch” to “Community Notes.” More recently, he had the w in Twitter’s name covered up at Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters.

Twitter founder and former CEO Jack Dorsey doesn’t seem bothered by the change. He said in a tweet on Monday that while the rebrand wasn’t “necessary” to realize Musk’s vision, it was controversial.

“The Twitter brand carries a lot of baggage,” Mr Dorsey said wrote. “But it’s the utility it provides that matters, not the name.”

Martin Grasser, San Francisco artist part of the team In 2011, the company helped design the latest Twitter bird logo, which it says aims to convey “simplicity, simplicity and clarity.” ‘Our goal was to have a logo as memorable as Apple or Nike,’ he said.

Glasser said Musk can do whatever he wants with the brand, but “I want the bird to have a place in the culture, to be a fond memory, or to be one of the symbols that belongs to the culture and not the company.”





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