Elon Musk’s unilateral decision to replace Twitter’s famous bluebird logo has finally happened.
To be sure, the dark black X which replaced the beautiful bright blue bird is more than a cosmetic change. Musk had already announced in April his plans to merge Twitter with his X Corp in order to turn the social media platform into an all-encompassing fintech application or what has been labelled as an “everything” application.
Musk wants X to be the most powerful fintech company in the world and his purchase of Twitter last October was only part of this elaborate and ambitious plan.
Unlike Twitter's loyal user base, Musk has no sentimental attachment to the bluebird. It's unclear whether changing the logo was correlated to the launch of Threads — Mark Zuckerberg's rival application to Twitter.
The app, which was launched earlier this month, had a record number of users sign up in the first few hours and days. By the end of the first week, it had 150 million users.
Read more: Threads v Twitter: The mother of all battles
Musk’s appointment of a new CEO, Linda Yaccarino — an expert in the field of advertising — was seen as an attempt to rescue the app which had seen its ad revenue drop by 50% and nearly half of its staff laid off.
And only a week ago, Twitter was slapped with a new lawsuit, alleging that it owed at least $500mn in end-of-service compensation to former employees.
In announcing the new logo, Yaccarino said on her official X account: "It’s an exceptionally rare thing – in life or in business – that you get a second chance to make another big impression. Twitter made one massive impression and changed the way we communicate. Now, X will go further, transforming the global town square."
It’s an exceptionally rare thing – in life or in business – that you get a second chance to make another big impression. Twitter made one massive impression and changed the way we communicate. Now, X will go further, transforming the global town square.— Linda Yaccarino (@lindayacc) July 23, 2023
She continued: "X is the future state of unlimited interactivity – centred in audio, video, messaging, payments/banking – creating a global marketplace for ideas, goods, services, and opportunities. Powered by AI, X will connect us all in ways we’re just beginning to imagine."
Her X further reinforced that the logo change went beyond the cosmetic and signalled a new future based on unlimited interactivity with integrated services that go beyond just being a marketplace for goods and services and extend to a platform for "ideas and opportunities".
This could explain Musk's radio silence after the launch of Threads. At the time, Yaccarino tweeted "We're often imitated — but the Twitter community can never be duplicated."
Her tweet could be seen as a subliminal message to Zuckerberg that it was too late to launch a serious rival to Twitter which has evolved to a higher and more sophisticated platform with an enhanced business model similar to the established Chinese application WeChat which has over 1.3 billion users in China alone.
So far, the site X.com is directing users to Twitter.com where conversations won’t be called tweets anymore but Xs.
Read more: Goodbye Twitter, hello “X”