X=Y? The rebrand no-one saw coming

Twitter has recently rebranded to X. The rebrand is a move that has met with mixed reactions. Some people believe that the Twitter rebrand to X is a sign of the platform’s new direction under Elon Musk. Others are disappointed by the loss of the iconic blue bird logo.

The change comes at a time where the adjustments made to how Twitter functions are becoming more and more frequent. Many Twitter users were thrown through a loop attempting to navigate the landscape of Musk-era Twitter. They were confused by the introduction of paid verification, tweet read limits, monthly payments and algorithm priority for verified users.

Elon Musk’s vision for Twitter

This may be why the rebrand has come about when it has. The public have become disillusioned by the dramatic shifts in Twitter’s social landscape. The reasons people fell in love with Twitter have mutated into something different, which may be why the Twitter rebrand to X is here now. This is Musk acknowledging that yes, Twitter has changed, it is different and it is new. It isn’t Twitter. It’s X.

Twitter, its iconic light-blue and the bird are all incredibly important and valuable assets to the brand. It seems that their relevance has been underestimated in the recent change.

Twitter’s transformation under Elon Musk

With the many controversies, threats and changes Twitter had gone through over the past several months, it began to feel like you were using a completely different platform. Twitter in the Elon era was something entirely new. The change to X represents a new age for the platform and is a shake up that has got the entire platform discussing the history, purpose, messaging and future of X’s brand.

At first glance it may seem reckless to drop the branding and mascot your company has used for 17 years. The blue bird has been a signifier of the platform, and ingrained into the minds of the public as one of the world’s most recognisable logos. The brand had a legacy that most marketers could only dream of building. Why change it for the letter that spells danger, closed or something more obscene?

Well, yes! X is often associated with death. However, it can also be seen as a symbol of unlimited possibility. In maths, X can represent anything. X has no limit. X is unknown. Most importantly, X is something that means you need to discover its meaning.

For Elon, it is part of his fascination with the letter. Elon Musk renamed his previous venture, X.com, an online banking platform, to PayPal. He also named his Tesla car model X and his space company SpaceX.

How will the X rebrand affect Twitter users?

Twitter will now refer to a tweet as an X and redirect users to X.com when accessing the platform.

The logo itself is rather… basic (apparently just the default design of the letter in Monotype’s Special Alphabets 4 font). Many graphic designers across the world have had their say and none of them are particularly positive.

Creative Director weighs in on Twitter’s X rebrand

Among the millions of voices on Twitter sharing their thoughts on the rebrand, we decided to get the opinion of our Creative Director, Paul, on this change-up. He had this to say: “Personally, I don’t think he (Elon Musk) should have made this change at this point in time, considering the issues and controversies currently faced by the Twitter brand. While from the perspective of running a business, I completely understand the need and requirement to change the perspective and reception of your brand when subject to public scrutiny but I believe it was necessary to instil advertisers and shareholders with faith, getting them back on his side before rolling out a rebrand.

IMO – the issue was never the brand.”


Written by

Luke Wilkinson

Strategic Marketing Manager

Luke brings his creatively strategic talents to the team, helping our customers produce bespoke strategic marketing campaigns to suit any audience.

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