CEO of soon-to-be-renamed Twitter endorses Musk’s surprise change

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Soon after Twitter’s owner announced early Sunday ET he was changing Twitter to “X”, Linda Yaccarino, CEO of the soon-to-be-renamed social media platform, embraced the new brand.

“It’s an exceptionally rare thing—in life or in business—that you get a second chance to make another big impression,” Yaccarino tweeted on Sunday evening. The new service would be “the future state of unlimited interactivity,” she wrote, with services including audio, video and payments, all “powered by A.I.”

“X will be the platform that can deliver, well…everything,” she finished, without providing further details.

As of writing, users of Twitter’s desktop website were seeing the “X” logo rather than the famous bird. The icon that designates accounts associated with the company—like Musk’s and Yaccarino’s accounts—now show an “X” icon instead of Twitter’s bird logo. 

X is here! Let’s do this.

— Linda Yaccarino (@lindayacc) July 24, 2023

On Monday morning, both Yaccarino and Musk shared photos of Twitter’s new “X” logo projected on the side of the company’s headquarters. 

The posts represent an abrupt shift for the social media platform already used to rapid shifts under Musk’s ownership. On Sunday morning, Musk said he wanted to ditch Twitter’s  brand and logo, writing that “we shall bid adieu to the twitter brand and, gradually, all the birds.” 

Twitter’s name change would align the brand with its corporate name, which Musk renamed to “X Corp” in April. Musk has pitched X as an “everything app” with finance and payments services, similar to WeChat, the ubiquitous Chinese messaging app owned by Tencent. In early July, Twitter secured money remittance licenses from three U.S. states.

“X” also features in Musk’s new A.I. venture, xAI. Musk unveiled the new company last week, featuring former employees from A.I. heavyweights like Microsoft and DeepMind

CEO comments

Yaccarino has had to play catch-up to Musk’s decisions before. 

On July 1, Musk revealed that he had imposed temporary limits on how many posts users could see to counter what he alleged was “extreme levels of data scraping.”

Twitter, as a company, didn’t comment on the situation until July 4, when it finally released a statement on its website. “You need to make big moves to keep strengthening the platform,” Yaccarino tweeted at the time, in the first comments by the CEO on Musk’s decision. 

Twitter has implemented several changes—and new limits—since Musk took over in October. Over the weekend, Twitter started limiting the number of direct messages users could send to each other, unless they were subscribed to the company’s paid subscription service. 

Some of Musk’s changes, particularly those around content moderation, have unnerved advertisers. Last week, Musk admitted that advertising revenue was down by 50% and that the company had “negative cash flow”

Tweets with hateful and inaccurate content have spiked since Musk’s takeover, researchers claimed to Bloomberg last week. Yaccarino disputed the article’s claims on Twitter, claiming that over 99% of views are “healthy,” and that the study was based on a “collection of incorrect, misleading, and outdated metrics.” 

Yet that assertion may be based on changing definitions of what constitutes “hate speech” under Musk’s ownership, former Twitter employees suggested to Fortune before the weekend.

Twitter (or “X”) did not immediately respond to Fortune’s request for comment.

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