Uber tries to win over haters with a slightly prettier logo

You’re still gonna get a no-star rating if you throw up in the backseat

If you looked at your phone first thing this morning (of course you did), you likely noticed a weird new app. It calls to mind a virus, but it’s actually Uber. The familiar black and white U logo doesn’t exist any more: it has been replaced by a funny little geometric pattern with a circle over the top. The company calls it “corporate rebranding”.

Image is controversial: the London 2012 Olympic committee somehow spent £400,000 on a logo which everyone hated; when small Glasgow football team Partick Thistle rebranded its mascot, it trended worldwide.

According to Wired, Uber didn’t hire a branding agency this time and came up with it all by themselves. The trademark Uber “U” has moved onto it’s side and looks a lot like a toilet seat, a bum or a Pokeball – depending on the tone of your mind.

Behind the tyre smoke and mirrors, there’s nothing new here. They aren’t giving any extra free rides, letting you pick your playlist before you get in the car, or introducing different cars. However, some users reported that certain features were flagged up when you opened the new app: for example, a colleague was excited to discover you could synch a business account to your personal Uber account, making it easier to expense taxis – look in settings – though it transpired that this has been a feature since November.

Discussing the rebrand, Uber’s CEO and Co-Founder Travis Kalanick said:

“Have you ever looked at someone’s hairstyle and thought ‘oh my, you peaked in the 1990s?’ Well that’s a bit how I feel about Uber’s look today. It’s not just that we were young and in a hurry when we replaced our red magnet logo with today’s black badge four years ago. It’s that we were a fundamentally different company.”

Here it is

Here it is

It’s less “coming of age” and more “look Mum, I’m not a child any more”. The company is rolling out different colour schemes for different countries (Ireland is green, the UK is blue and red). This morning, some Uber users piled in on Twitter to variously lay into the design (one called it an “epic fail”) and express bewilderment that a rebrand was necessary; though others have suggested it’s a “grown-up look”.

Top line: just in case you needed a reminder that your favourite way to get around is super corporate, the company just changed its logo. And you’ll still get no-stars if you chuck up on the backseat.