By Jack Phillips
Elon Musk announced Sunday he is now looking to change Twitter’s bird logo to an “X” in what could be another major change to the social media platform he purchased last year.
In a series of posts on his Twitter account that were issued at around 12 a.m. ET, Mr. Musk said that he’s looking to make the change worldwide as soon as Monday.
“And soon we shall bid adieu to the twitter brand and, gradually, all the birds,” he wrote on his account.
The Twitter owner posted an image of a flickering “X,” and later in a Twitter Spaces chat replied with, “Yes,” when he was asked if the Twitter logo will change. Mr. Musk said that the change “should have been done a long time ago.”
Later on Sunday, Mr. Musk posted a photo of him making an “X” sign with his hands with the message: “Not sure what subtle clues gave it way, but I like the letter X.”
Under Mr. Musk’s tenure since he bought Twitter last year, the firm has changed its business name to X Corp. That reflects the multi-billionaire’s plan to create a “super app” in the West, akin to WeChat in China.
Earlier this month, the billionaire Tesla CEO put new curfews on his digital town square, a move that met with sharp criticism that it could drive away more advertisers and undermine its cultural influence as a trendsetter. The higher tweet-viewing threshold is part of an $8-per-month subscription service that the company rolled out earlier this year in an attempt to boost Twitter revenue.
Revenue has dropped sharply since Mr. Musk took over the company and laid off roughly three-fourths of the workforce to slash costs and avoid bankruptcy. Last week, the billionaire Tesla owner said Twitter is dealing with a “heavy debt load” after it lost about 50 percent of its advertisers.
“We’re still negative cash flow, due to ~50 percent drop in advertising revenue plus heavy debt load. Need to reach positive cash flow before we have the luxury of anything else,” Mr. Musk wrote on Twitter earlier this month.
Mr. Musk’s move to change Twitter’s logo to an “X” also comes as Twitter faces new competition from Meta’s new app, Threads, launched earlier this month. It has been seen as an alternative for those who have been souring on Twitter.
Threads is being billed as a text-based version of Meta’s photo-sharing app Instagram that the company has said offers “a new, separate space for real-time updates and public conversations.”
However, user engagement on Threads has cratered in recent days after it announced that 100 million users signed up after about a week. In the meantime, analytics company Sensor Tower found that the app has lost about 70 percent of its daily years, and only some 13 million people are using it on a daily basis.
Threads users spend about 4 minutes on the site on average per day, whereas Twitter users average about 30 minutes per day, according to the firm.
“These early returns signal that despite the hoopla during its launch, it will still be an uphill climb for Threads to carve out space in most users’ social network routine,” Anthony Bartolacci, managing director at marketing intelligence firm Sensor Tower, told CNBC in June. “The backing of Meta and the integration with Instagram likely gives Threads a much higher flood than other services, but it will need a more compelling value proposition than simply ‘Twitter, but without Elon Musk.’”
But Meta’s Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg last week issued a Threads post saying the company is focusing on stabilizing first before growing its user base.
Since the app was launched in early July, there have been concerns about censorship. Some users already reported having their accounts’ reach restricted in the days after Threads made its debut.
“When Mark Zuckerberg—the owner of Meta, Facebook, Threads, and WhatsApp—announced Threads, he said it would be a free and open platform,” said investigative journalist Michael Shellenberger in a post. “Well, right away, there were users who showed that they had been censored,” he added.
A conservative commentator Rogan O’Hanley, who goes by the handle @DC-Draino on Twitter, also claimed that he downloaded Threads and “posted once about wanting to expose Biden’s corrupt government and they’ve already flagged me for censorship.”
A screenshot shared by Mr. O’Hanley appeared to show a warning message that was applied to his Threads account for anyone who wants to follow him.
“This account has repeatedly posted false information that was reviewed by independent fact-checkers or went against our Community Guidelines,” it added.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.