The official stance at most social media related companies is that social media handles cannot be bought and sold. In reality it happens everyday. I have been offered money for handles, I have had clients who were only interested in an exact match short social media handle and willing to pay $10K.
A few years ago MarketWatch published a piece on a 23 year old making $30,000 a year buying and selling Instagram accounts. This was more than just the handle as in some cases the acquired account had content created to increase engagement.
To many it seems dumb to others it’s the focus of their existence. Take for example the case of @ginger. The person who had the handle Chris Eberle dealt with an absolute living hell as he was targeted over the handle.
PALO ALTO, Calif. (KGO) — A former Silicon Valley tech executive and his family continued to be harassed over a social media account.
From threats, to fake food deliveries, to his son’s elementary school being put on lockdown — it’s been a two-year headache. The bizarre nightmare started in March of 2020 with a strange text.
“I really couldn’t figure out if it was a joke,” said Palo Alto resident Chris Eberle.
The former Netflix executive received this message:
“Hey Christopher. Gonna need @Ginger on Instagram. Harassment to you and family starts now.”
“My heart dropped a bit, this is super weird,” he said. “So I replied with LOL.”
You can read the full story that includes getting his school shutdown.
Now it looks like Telegram will go the opposite direction of the likes of Twitter and Instagram. They are going to hold auctions for Telegram handles.
Telegram announced today that will it hold an auction for usernames — for both individual accounts and channels — through a marketplace built on top of the TON blockchain.
In August, Telegram founder Pavel Durov first mentioned the idea by noting the possibility of adding “a little bit of Web 3.0 to Telegram in the coming weeks.” At that time, he said he was impressed by the success of the TON Foundation’s auction of domain names.
“I’m really impressed by the success of the auction TON recently conducted for their domain/wallet names. Wallet.ton was sold for 215,250 Toncoin (~$260000) while casino.ton was sold for ~$244000.
Telegram and TON Foundation are using a separate website (Fragment.com) as a hub for these auctions. Users will be able to log into the site using Telegram, the tonkeeper app, or their TON-based wallets. The website will also help users link their Telegram accounts to the handles that they have bought.
Telegram is probably not in as good a financial position as Twitter or Instagram and will look to try more things to generate revenue.
It’s still something Twitter and Instagram should consider.