Technology

Twitter rebrands to ‘X’ and replaces bird logo as Elon Musk dreams of a super app


Elon Musk’s grand plan for Twitter — that is, what he hopes to create beyond a “town square” for posting and messaging — is starting to take shape. And that shape is a super app called X.

On July 23, Musk announced that Twitter would lose its iconic blue bird logo — and, eventually, the name “Twitter” — as his company rebrands to “X” and attempts to fulfill Musk’s super app vision. By Monday morning, the bird was indeed gone. In its place was the new X logo, which appears to come from a user’s suggestion that Musk embedded and tweeted from his own account. The X isn’t a custom design; rather, the company that was once worth $44 billion — but may now be worth as little as $15 billion — went with a slightly altered Unicode character. (Twitter did not respond to comment on the origins of the logo).

Twitter’s little company affiliation icons were switched over to the new logo, as was Musk’s profile image and CEO Linda Yaccarino’s profile banner.

If you’ve been following Musk’s quest to turn Twitter into X, these moves may not be a surprise, though they are perhaps the most aggressive yet. Twitter informed its business users on April 18 that Twitter, Inc., is now X Corp. Along with that name change, there was the news that Twitter partnered with a stock and crypto trading firm, and Musk also founded an artificial intelligence company, called xAI, which may be part of his super app plans. Yaccarino mentioned that X will be “powered by AI,” though didn’t go into details.

So-called “super apps” or “everything apps” (as Musk has referred to them) are apps that offer several services, usually including a payments component. They’re hugely popular in Asia, though you can find them in Africa and Latin America. But they haven’t caught on in the US. Musk clearly wants that to change, and he wants Twitter — er, X —to lead the way. The billionaire has said a few things about his plans and made what appear to be a few preliminary moves toward it. But what his X can do, with its dwindling resources and polarizing owner, is still very much in question.

Super apps, explained

If you’re in the US, you probably haven’t used a super app before. It’s possible you hadn’t even heard of them before Musk started talking about the concept. But you might be familiar with WeChat, a Chinese messaging app that then-President Trump tried to ban along with TikTok in 2020. WeChat has 1.26 billion users worldwide as of September 2021, and it’s enormously popular in China. If you have family there, you probably use WeChat to stay in touch with them.