Twitter’s owner Elon Musk and its new CEO said Sunday that the social media network would ditch its bird logo, be rebranded with the name X and move quickly into payments, banking and commerce.
Founded in 2006, Twitter takes its name from the sound of birds chattering, and it has used avian branding since its early days, when the company bought a stock symbol of a light blue bird for $15, according to the design website Creative Bloq.
Tweeting a picture of the company’s new logo – a white X on a black background – late Sunday night, Twitter chief executive Linda Yaccarino said “X is here! Let’s do this.”
Also late Sunday night, Musk changed his profile picture to the company’s new logo, which he described as “minimalist art deco,” and changed his Twitter bio to “X.com,” which now redirects to twitter.com.
Musk had earlier tweeted that “If a good enough X logo is posted tonight, we’ll make (it) go live worldwide tomorrow.”
Musk also tweeted that under the site’s new identity, a post would be called “an X.”
The changes were not visible on the website as of 0630 GMT Monday.
Musk had already named Twitter’s parent company the X Corporation, and previously said his takeover of the social media giant was “an accelerant to creating X, the everything app” – a reference to the X.com company he founded in 1999, a later version of which went on to become payments giant PayPal.
Such an app could still function as a social media platform, and also include messaging and mobile payments.
“Powered by AI, X will connect us in ways we’re just beginning to imagine,” Yaccarino tweeted earlier on Sunday.
Yaccarino, an advertising sales executive at NBC Universal who Musk poached last month to become Twitter’s CEO, said the social media platform was on the cusp of broadening its scope.
“X is the future state of unlimited interactivity – centered in audio, video, messaging, payments/banking – creating a global marketplace for ideas, goods, services, and opportunities,” Yaccarino tweeted.
New revenue streams
Since Musk bought Twitter for $44 billion last October, the platform’s advertising business has partially collapsed as marketers soured on mass firings at the company that gutted content moderation – as well as on Musk’s management style.
In response, the billionaire SpaceX boss has moved toward introducing payments and commerce through the platform in a search for new revenue.
Twitter is thought to have around 200 million daily active users, but it has suffered repeated technical failures since the 52-year-old Tesla founder bought the app and sacked much of its staff.
Since then, many users and advertisers alike have responded adversely to the social media site’s new charges for previously free services, its changes to content moderation and the return of previously banned right-wing accounts.
Musk said this month that Twitter had lost roughly half of its advertising revenue since he took control in October.
Facebook parent Meta also this month launched its own text-based platform, called Threads, which has up to 150 million users, according to some estimates.
But the amount of time users spend on the rival app has plummeted in the weeks since its launch, according to data from market analysis firm Sensor Tower.