In a surprising move, Twitter's owner Elon Musk announced via Twitter today that the platform will undergo a rebranding. As a part of this transformation, the domain X.com now redirects to Twitter.com, and a new "interim X logo" is set to replace the iconic Twitter bird logo. Musk's tweets have been buzzing with excitement leading up to this change, hinting at the shift to a one-letter name, "X," which he has often used in various company and product names over the years.
The excitement started around 12 AM ET last night when Musk initiated a series of tweets about the Twitter rebrand to X. He declared that the Twitter brand and, eventually, the bird-related branding, would bid farewell. In a follow-up tweet, he teased that if a remarkable X logo were posted that night, the worldwide transition to X would take place the following day.
Throughout the next few hours, Musk continued to hint at the change amidst other posts and replies. He playfully used phrases like "Deus X" and engaged with other users discussing the rebrand. At one point, he even joined a Twitter Spaces session titled "No one talk until we summon Elon Musk," remaining silent for nearly an hour before confirming that Twitter's logo would indeed change, and humorously stating that the old Twitter logo would be removed from the building with blowtorches.
Reports suggest that Musk also sent an email to Twitter employees, informing them of the company's transformation into X and declaring it as the last email he would send from a Twitter address. While it is believed he referred to the logo change, it's worth noting that Twitter's business was already renamed X Corp.
As for the new logo, Musk pinned a GIF offered by Sawyer Merritt, a Twitter user, which had been used for a discontinued podcast. He settled on a "minimalist art deco" style for now, with potential refinements in the future. Twitter CEO Linda Yaccarino also shared the logo, expressing excitement about the change and adopting it as Musk's profile picture.
While some of Musk's enthusiastic supporters applaud the rebrand, longtime users of the platform seem less thrilled about the change. One prominent user, Marques Brownlee, plans to continue calling it Twitter despite the shift, to which Musk responded, "Not for long."
The letter "X" has played a significant role in Musk's endeavours for the past two decades. It was the original name for Paypal, exists in his SpaceX company name, is associated with the Tesla SUV, anchors X.Ai and his child's name, X Æ A-12, and has been linked to his vision of turning Twitter into an "X, the everything app." Finally, Musk is taking action with the X.com domain, which he repurchased from Paypal in 2017.
Looking ahead, Twitter's CEO Linda Yaccarino will join Musk on stage at this year's Code Conference to discuss the platform's transformation into X, their collaboration, and its efforts to attract advertisers to the platform.
The rebranding marks a clear shift away from the original social network it once was before Musk's acquisition last year. However, this is just one of many changes that have taken place during the "Musk era" of Twitter. Recent developments include limiting the number of DMs for non-paying users, introducing a LinkedIn-like hiring feature for Verified Organisations, and plans to allow users to post "very long, complex articles" on the platform, which has been referred to as "Articles" but was also previously named "Notes." This feature echoes Substack's Twitter clone, known for its dramatic debut in the past.