Twitter, which was acquired by Elon Musk at the end of October, is looking to boost revenue by selling usernames, according to a report from The New York Times.
The outlet quoted “two people with knowledge of the plan”.
Username swaps (or handles) can be a big thing.
People sometimes go to a social media network early and create an account with a certain handle so they can harass brands or other big entities for thousands to get the coveted username. Handles are also sometimes bought and sold on black markets, the NYT reported.
Twitter has had a chaotic few months after buying Musk in the fall. It has been sued for not paying rent and not pay a marketing companyhas faced reports of severance payments for thousands of laid-off employees have not been as expectedand launched new programs, such as a revamped Twitter Blue.
Twitter reportedly owes $136,260 in unpaid rent, per lawsuit.
The company’s headquarters in New York City, reportedly had no toilet paper last week. Twitter has also seen one reject in advertising revenue.
Ninety-two percent of the company’s revenue came from advertising in Q1 2022, per an April quarterly return.
Musk was previously outraged by bogus and “bot” accounts before he bought the company, and in December tweeted“Twitter will soon begin namespace clearing of 1.5 billion accounts.”
“These are blatant account deletions with no tweets and no login for years,” he added.
These are obvious account deletions with no tweets and no login for years
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 9, 2022
It may also be planning to add processing payments from users, according to Treasury documents obtained through the exhaust.
The sources told the NYT that the company could auction usernames. Twitter rules currently prohibit the sale of usernames.
But it’s Musk’s company now.
There has already been at least one notable username change. The office of Benjamin Netanyahu, recently sworn in (again) as Prime Minister of Israel, initiated the country’s purchase of the handle @Israel, according to The Guardianabout 12 years ago.
The outlet reported that in 2010, when Netanyahu also held the position of prime minister, his office contacted a man named Israel Meléndez, who had created an account in 2007 called “Israel.”
Meléndez said Netanyahu sent him direct messages and sold the handle to the country for a sum of “five zeroes”, despite opposing the company’s policy.
australiabusinessblog.com has reached out to Twitter for comment.
Israel still has the handle. The state biography says “yes, it really is us.”