Elon Musk rebrands Twitter to 'AI-powered' X, ominously bidding adieu to 'all the birds'

Elon Musk
(Image credit: NurPhoto (Getty Images))

Elon Musk has made several, uh, turbulent decisions since entering Twitter HQ with sink in tow—turning verification into a subscription service, baffling choices regarding 'rate limits' to allegedly combat bot spam, redundancies for thousands of staff, and challenging Mark Zuckerberg to a cage fight. Normal things to do when you buy a company.

Latest in his long list of choices: replacing Twitter's classic blue bird with an X, which you might've noticed when logging onto the social media site today. Granted, we've seen this coming, as Musk elaborated that buying Twitter was just one step in his master plan to create "X, the everything app" back in October. It's just official now.

The change was formally announced by Twitter's current CEO, Linda Yaccarino, on Sunday. "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," says Yaccarino. She goes on to state that it would be "powered by AI" and will "connect us all in ways we're just beginning to imagine." That's true, I am beginning to imagine it, though I might be stuck here for a while.

Meanwhile, Musk crowdsourced the new logo and announced the change, stating: "And soon we shall bid adieu to the twitter brand and, gradually, all the birds". Concerning. Presumably he means all of the logos on the website, but I can't help but worry his new xAI company has already discovered something troubling about our avian friends in its efforts to "understand reality".

True to his word, the bird is gone. At the time of writing, however, the verification service is still called "Twitter Blue", you still "Retweet" and "Quote Tweet" on the platform, and the button to post is still called a "Tweet".

I dread to think of what those verbs—the common use of which is a sign of success for any business, in the realm of 'I'll just google that'—will be replaced by. X-ting? Re-exes? Quote Xes? None of these are forming properly in my brain or my mouth, and I think Mr. Musk might have picked the most difficult letter in the alphabet to portmanteau. 

And then there's the logo itself. It's just a unicode X. I don't mean to doubt the infinite genius of a man who challenges other billionaires to cage matches, but it's not exactly eye-catching, blending into the rest of the user interface like my page failed to properly load.

Still, maybe X is the future—I for one can't wait for the "everything app's" eventual dating component to link me up to an eX partner. Whether X is going to be able to give everything to you remains to be seen, however, as sites like Bluesky and Threads rush in to fill the gap in the market, one Musk has somehow created after buying an app with a near-monopoly in it.

Harvey Randall
Staff Writer

Harvey's history with games started when he first begged his parents for a World of Warcraft subscription aged 12, though he's since been cursed with Final Fantasy 14-brain and a huge crush on G'raha Tia. He made his start as a freelancer, writing for websites like Techradar, The Escapist, Dicebreaker, The Gamer, Into the Spine—and of course, PC Gamer. He'll sink his teeth into anything that looks interesting, though he has a soft spot for RPGs, soulslikes, roguelikes, deckbuilders, MMOs, and weird indie titles. He also plays a shelf load of TTRPGs in his offline time. Don't ask him what his favourite system is, he has too many.