Twitter will enter a new era as it will say goodbye to the bird and welcome the “X” as the social media company will be rebranding its image and promising a new era of innovation.
On July 23rd, 2023, Musk teased that the platform would receive a rebrand, dropping the name, the phrase “tweet” and its mascot, which dates back to 2008. He later confirmed that the new name would be X and that if he found a logo, the rebrand would be put to effect the next day. He then tweeted a GIF of the Twitter logo glitching into an abstract X logo.
“And soon we shall bid adieu to the Twitter brand and, gradually, all the birds,” Musk wrote on his Twitter account.
“For years, fans and critics alike have pushed Twitter to dream bigger, to innovate faster, and to fulfill our great potential. X will do that and more. We’ve already started to see X take shape over the past 8 months through our rapid feature launches, but we’re just getting started,” Linda Yaccarino, Chief Executive Officer of Twitter. “There’s no limit to this transformation. X will be the platform that can deliver, well…. everything. Elon Musk and I are looking forward to working with our teams and every single one of our partners to bring X to the world.”
The breaking news of Twitter’s rebranding has sent shockwaves across social media platforms, dominating headlines in media outlets of all scales. Even Adweek featured a post on Instagram with the title, “How are you feeling about the Twitter rebrand?” The response was intense, with comments ranging from concerns about the demise of a once-iconic brand to fears of its potential impact on the company’s future. Out of 95 comments, the majority expressed negative sentiments towards the new name and design, showing the scale of public reaction to this major shift.
Elon Musk completed his acquisition of Twitter in October 2022; Musk acted as CEO of Twitter until he stepped down in June 2023 and was replaced by Linda Yaccarino. During that timeframe, the company introduced a series of reforms and management changes.
Musk reinstated several previously banned accounts such as that of Donald Trump, reduced the workforce by approximately 80%, closed one of Twitter’s three data centers, largely eliminated the content moderation team and replaced it with a new feature called Community Notes, and instituted a plan that charged personal users $8 per month to get a “verified” blue badge and $1,000 per month for an organizational gold badge. Musk has been the subject of widespread criticism from those that believe content moderation should be continued.
A series of reports called the Twitter Files were released to shed light on content moderation, censorship, and government influence at the social media company before Musk’s acquisition.