According to a report by The New York Times it looks like Elon Musk shares an opinion that myself and some others in domaining have held on Twitter handles. The good ones are worth money.
Mike first wrote back in 2009 about a TechCrunch story that said, “Twitter handles are quickly becoming as desirable as domains”.
A new service just lauched this week called Tweexchange, a marketplace which allows “Twitter members to exchange, buy or find Twitter usernames from other existing members.”
Tweexchange also lets you easily find what Twitter handles have been taken and recommends alternate usernames for your desired Twitter handle.
“”If you do see a Twitter name available that you’d like to buy or negotiate, Tweexchange lets you send the owner a Tweet or email inquiry.””
As TechCrunch points out “Selling Twitter names is apparently against Twitter’s, rules, but it’s unclear as to how and if Twitter is enforcing this rule.”
According to the website recently exhanged twitter names include “ukfallenangel for $100.00, bostondesigner for $15,000, and betmoney for $500,000.00.
Back in 2021 while covering the lady who owned @metaverse on Instagram being locked out of her account. I wrote:
There is a market for social handles
Over the weekend someone emailed me that they sold a metaverse related Twitter handle for $1,500. They did not say what the exact handle was. About a month ago a friend said they made an offer on an Instagram meta handle and the person came back with $1m so that was a pass. Since technically buying and selling handles is against the TOS of just about every social media site, no one ever likes to give the exact name. But social media handles trade all the time and these sites would be wise to create a marketplace and make some actual money facilitating the transactions in a secure manner.
In October of 2022 Telegram announced they were going to start auctioning off 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.
Today The New York Times wrote:
Twitter has considered selling user names to generate new revenue as its owner, Elon Musk, tries to resuscitate the company’s business, two people with knowledge of the plan said.
Twitter employees have held conversations about selling some user names for the service since at least December, the people said. Engineers have discussed running online auctions where people can bid for the user names.
It’s unclear if the project will move forward and if the plan affects all user names or only a subset, the people said. But Mr. Musk said last month that he wanted to start eliminating inactive accounts on Twitter and free up 1.5 billion user names. Only certain user names — such as those of well-known people, brands and popular names — may have value.
Elon Musk is cutting jobs and searching for every way to increase revenue (Buyer’s Remorse) Selling popular handles makes sense. It may open the doors to legitimate secondary exchanges.
If selling inactive* Twitter handles becomes a viable revenue source then what is to stop some malign staff at Twitter in the future from finding a reason to permanently suspend someone with what is considered a valuable handle, eventually take over the handle or give it to a friend or relative and then auction off the Twitter handle? Will “inactive” Twitter Handles include those handles of Twitter members who were permanently suspended with some permanent suspensions going back years?
Raymond Hackney says
I agree it could become a slippery slope. I do think inactive will include permanent suspensions. Musk wants to free up some huge number of handles.
Elon Musk himself shared his discovery that Twitter employees sold BLUE badges under the old regime.
Unlike domain names, the rules and enforcement would be completely controlled by Twitter. Also, Musk has said he will be stepping down as CEO soon.
Ideally, Inactive and suspended usernames would be released back into general registration system on a first come, first served basis.
But we know they will be auctioned to the highest bidder, which is their right but the unintended consequences will appear within months.
they have done it to me with Instagram. @Brennan and that fucker is now sueing facebok after he got fired for abusing his power lol
Wow. The A.I. Censors are dysfunctional and flagging comments as Spam that are not spam so the comment does not get posted. Just happened to me.
Their names I would pay for not outrageous money but I would pay $500 to $1,000 for a Twitter handle if it was something great like at sports or at TV. Also something new like at web 3 or at metaverse. I realize that there’s a lot of money in the tech space that probably the bids will get much much higher if like I read in your article it says that they want to do auctions.
I have sold a few Twitter handles. The problem for buyers is that Twitter, on a whim, can suspended Twitter handles if you post something they don’t like. Then your purchase money is gone as very hard to get back suspended twitter handles. I for sure would not pay a lot as to easy to lose.