If you’re still on Twitter, you may have noticed some changes to the platform yesterday—no, not The New York Times losing its blue check, and thankfully, not another round of Elon Musk’s tweets being hyper-promoted onto everyone’s feed. The change was small but prompted plenty of conversation nonetheless: In the upper left-hand corner of the site where there once was a bird icon, there was now a Shiba picture, referencing the Musk-favorite doge meme and the Dogecoin cryptocurrency.
The Tesla founder explained the latest inexplicable change to the social media platform by referencing an old Twitter exchange he had with a user named @WSBChairman. “Just buy twitter,” the user wrote in response to Musk asking whether a new platform was needed to replace Twitter. “And change the bird logo to a doge.”
On Monday, Musk tweeted a screenshot of this conversation with the caption “As promised.”
But Musk’s insertion of the doge icon affected more than just pulling off this “sickkk” joke. Dogecoin, a cryptocurrency the tech CEO has publicly promoted on multiple occasions, including while hosting Saturday Night Live last year, saw a significant spike in value after the doge image was added to Twitter. The currency, which was founded in 2013 as a spoof of other cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, saw its value rise by more than 20 percent after Monday’s Twitter tweak, per Variety. According to Forbes, the value rose by as much as 30 percent in just over 30 minutes after the doge image was added to the Twitter site.
Promoting Dogecoin hasn’t always gone well for Musk. Investors of the cryptocurrency have sued the Tesla CEO for over $258 billion, accusing him of running a pyramid scheme for “profit, exposure and amusement” by inflating the currency’s value with his promotional statements and then “letting it crash.” Just this past Friday, Musk’s lawyers filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit, claiming that Musk’s promotion of the coin was both harmless and entirely legal.
Beyond sharing memes on Twitter, Musk has offered no official explanation for the reasons behind this icon change, and requests for comment have been met with a poop emoji response from the Twitter team, Musk’s newly announced way of handling media requests. With Twitter’s value down to less than half of what the billionaire paid for it, every move Musk makes these days may be part of a plan to try and recoup his investment. Whether any of these will succeed remains to be seen.