Immediately after loading up Twitter today, I found myself briefly questioning if I’d gotten lost along the way and ended up on a clever imitation site. In the place of the familiar blue bird was a new, curious ‘X’ in the top left corner of the window.
With the exception of its brief stint as famous shiba inu “Doge”, the Twitter logo has been Larry the Bird since the company began in 2006, with its most recent design having been in use since 2012. The bird is found across the internet as an instantly recognisable symbol for Twitter, despite having no letters (e.g. a ‘T’) incorporated to represent the brand name. We all know Larry.
Which begs the question: where has he gone, and why replace him in the first place?
It all seems to boil down to Elon Musk’s overarching plans for Twitter to become an “everything app”. This move aligns the Twitter brand with ‘X Corp’; the technology company registered by Musk a few months ago. Now, Musk has reportedly informed staff in an email that Twitter would become X, and on Sunday Morning tweeted “And soon we shall bid adieu to the twitter brand and, gradually, all the birds”.
And soon we shall bid adieu to the twitter brand and, gradually, all the birds
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 23, 2023
For now, at least, not all the birds are gone. Larry is still flying over our desktops in the form of the Twitter favicon. In fact, the new brand rollout has been rather inconsistent and hurried…
Rebrands and rollouts should be handled carefully and communicated clearly to internal stakeholders before any public changes in order to avoid fear and speculation amongst staff and to ultimately encourage buy in. Internal support and consistency are paramount for communicating something which is stable and coherent.
This, of course, would fly in the face of recent behaviour from Twitter’s Executive Chair and CTO.
Regardless of how we all feel about the new logo it has caused quite the buzz online, with some great speculation and commentary from across the internet.
Which may have been the point.
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Twitter's iconic bird isn't the only one disappearing.
👉 Today, one in eight bird species are at risk of extinction.
— WWF (@WWF) July 24, 2023
World Wildlife Fund takes the unique opportunity to raise awareness for declining bird populations.
— Aldi Stores UK (@AldiUK) July 24, 2023
Aldi pokes fun.
— jack (@jack) July 24, 2023
Jack Dorsey, co-founder and former CEO of Twitter, shows Larry his support.