(CNN) – In a sweeping rebranding, Twitter owner Elon Musk has replaced Twitter’s iconic bird logo with an X.
Musk made the shocking announcement of his plans early Sunday morning. Early Monday US time, he tweeted that X.com is now targeting Twitter.com.
“The temporary X logo goes live later today,” Musk wrote, not long before sharing a photo of Twitter’s headquarters lit up by a giant new X.
Twitter now features the same logo, while the familiar blue bird is gone.
Earlier, Musk said he was saying “goodbye to the Twitter brand and gradually to all the birds.”
Twitter, founded in 2006, has used the globally recognized bright blue bird logo for more than a decade.
The name change can be seen as an overhaul of the company’s brand: Musk has repeatedly warned in recent months that Twitter, which is facing huge losses in advertising revenue, is on the verge of bankruptcy.
Adding to the pressure, the competing social media platform launched Threads earlier this month from Facebook’s parent meta. It exceeded 100 million registered users in its first week.
Twitter had 238 million active users before Musk took it private in October 2022.
Disputes and collective layoffs
Musk, one of the richest men in the world, was known at the time for his innovative efforts through SpaceX and Tesla to launch rockets and build electric cars.
Now, many of the headlines he’s grabbing are for his bizarre comments on his personal Twitter account, where he often shares conspiracy theories and gets involved in public brawls.
Musk overhauled the site after acquiring it for $44 billion in late October 2022, then followed it up with mass layoffs, disputes over millions of dollars allegedly owed in severance pay, and Musk’s memo to employees that staying at the company meant “working long, intense hours.” He wrote: “Only an exceptional performance will constitute a pass”.
The unrest has led organizations such as the Anti-Defamation League, Free Press and GLAAD to pressure brands to rethink advertising on Twitter.
The groups cited mass layoffs as a key factor in their thinking, citing concerns that Musk’s cuts would render Twitter’s election integrity policies virtually unenforceable, even though it is still technically active.
Musk also began overseeing controversial policy changes that led to frequent outages on Twitter and jeopardized his reputation in the process.
In June, Musk named Linda Iaccarino, a former marketing executive at NBCUniversal, as the company’s CEO.
She commented on the name change on Twitter Sunday afternoon: “It’s so rare – in life or in business – that you get a second chance to make another great impression. Twitter made a great impression and changed the way we communicate. Now, X will go even further, transforming the global city square.”
The new company faces new challenges. Musk recently revealed that the platform is still experiencing negative cash flow due to a 50% drop in ad revenue and a heavy debt load.
Criticizing the departure or cessation of Twitter advertisers like General Mills, Macy’s and some auto companies that compete with Tesla, Musk has called himself a “freedom of speech” and said he wants to buy Twitter to enhance users’ ability to speak freely on the platform.
Musk explained his approach to free speech by saying, “May someone you don’t like say something you don’t like? And if so, we have free speech.”
He added that Twitter “would be very reluctant to take things down” and that the platform would aim to allow all forms of legal expression. Many users fear that this means an increase in hate speech.
Meanwhile, the initial frenzy around its competitor Thread seems to be back on the ground, mostly because it’s riddled with spam and lacks many of the user-friendly features offered by Twitter or, now, X.
Adam Mosseri, who oversees the release of Thread for Meta, hinted at plans to add features such as a desktop version of the app, a feed of the only accounts the user is following, and an edit button.
Its ability to attract publicity has not been proven.
“Social media evangelist. Student. Reader. Troublemaker. Typical introvert.”