Brian Carroll

How to Get the Twitter Username You've Always Wanted (even if it's taken)

Don’t forget to secure your Twitter name! I signed up for twitter a year an half ago but that wasn’t soon enough to get my hands on my company’s Twitter name of choice of @intouch.

So if you were late to the party (like me) I’m happy to say there still might be hope. I found this blog post How to Snap Up that Twitter Username You’ve Always Wanted posted by @zee

I followed Zee’s process and I’m pleased to say it worked for us! Maybe it will work for you too. 

Here’s what we did

  1. Emailed username@twitter.com with the following information:

    • The username you want
    • Your existing username, if you have one
    • Whether you want to change your username, or start a new account with the username you’re requesting

  2. I received confirmation the email had been received a few minutes later, then another email asking me to reply with the above information (if I hadn’t already provided it).
  3. Literally, 3 weeks later, I had my account switched from @intouch5 (BTW intouch1-4 were already taken!) to @intouch.

Why did it work?

The person who took my company’s name was inactive. Twitter has a policy that if a profile has been “inactive” for a period of time they release the name. In my case @intouch was never updated by the previous user so we were lucky. I hope this helps and I wish you success!

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Current Affairs, Social Media, Web/Tech



  1. November 19th, 2009 at 16:02 | #1

    Just so everyone is aware, I received this message when I tried to change my username.

    “Twitter is not currently releasing inactive user names. We’re working on a better long term solution for this, and we should have more news soon.”

  2. November 19th, 2009 at 16:32 | #2

    Mark, thanks for sharing. If others have this experience please share. This process worked for me but it took about 3 weeks while they processed my request.

    Also http://thenextweb.com/2009/01/08/how-to-snap-up-that-twitter-username-youve-always-wanted/ has some tips and comments.

  3. November 20th, 2009 at 00:20 | #3

    I received the same message as Mark just now. If anything else comes of my request, I’ll let you know.

  4. November 20th, 2009 at 06:10 | #4

    I had the same experience as Mark. First/immediately received an auto-reply that my request was logged, but then the follow-up –

    “Hi,

    You can change your user name at any time here:
    http://twitter.com/account/settings

    Your messages, replies and content will not be affected, but we do recommend that that you let your followers know about the name change with a tweet. Twitter is not currently releasing inactive user names. We’re working on a better long term solution for this, and we should have more news soon.”

  5. Jason
    November 20th, 2009 at 07:42 | #5

    Received the same message as Mark:

    “Twitter is not currently releasing inactive user names.”

    Really unfortunate as the username that I would like has been inactive since day 1 yet is my TLD.

  6. Andrew
    November 20th, 2009 at 08:13 | #6

    i got this email reply :

    * If your user name request concerns impersonation, trademark infringement, brand squatting, copyright, or another Terms of Service violation, please submit a request to the Terms of Service group via the web form:

    http://twitter.zendesk.com/tickets/new

  7. November 20th, 2009 at 09:08 | #7

    If you own a trademark for your twitter name that’s being used you can report a violation.

    To report a violation:

    What information do I need to include when reporting trademark violations?

    In order to investigate trademark violations, we need the following information:

    Username of the violating account (or the URL to their profile page):
    Company name:
    Company Twitter account (if there is one):
    Your First and Last Name:
    Title:
    Address:
    Phone:
    Fax:
    Company domain address:
    Your company domain email address:
    Registration Trademark number:

    Here’s a link to the Twitter trademark policy.
    http://help.twitter.com/forums/26257/entries/18367

    Here’s an article on how to handle name squatting that has more ideas…
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124269417597532869.html

  8. November 22nd, 2009 at 08:47 | #8

    Thanks for the tip. Didn’t know this could be done.

  9. November 24th, 2009 at 01:21 | #9

    thanks! very helpful.

  10. Steve
    November 24th, 2009 at 12:01 | #10

    Great post! I really like your blog!!
    Common Cents

    ps. Link Exchange?

  11. November 30th, 2009 at 09:18 | #11

    Awesome info. I didn’t know you could snag an inactive one. I need to grab mine.

  12. ordenadores, portátiles
    December 5th, 2009 at 18:13 | #12

    your blog is perfect

  13. December 16th, 2009 at 00:16 | #13

    Does it work again? Last time I looked, they didn’t release inactive usernames.

    ————-

    Andy Michaels
    http://www.andy-michaels.com/

  14. Les
    December 17th, 2009 at 11:22 | #14

    I do believe that Twitter needs to do something about this soon as a lot of brands (well known or otherwise) are really -beep- because someone else is hogging a name (brand) they have no right to.

    Thankfully they are unable to capitilise on this.

  15. Matt
    January 3rd, 2010 at 02:15 | #15

    I sent a message to Twitter and I got the same reply

    “Twitter is not currently releasing inactive user names.”

    So it looks like I won’t be getting the name I want.

  16. February 22nd, 2013 at 15:43 | #16

    Do you mind if I quote a few of your articles as long as I provide credit and
    sources back to your site? My blog is in the very
    same area of interest as yours and my users would certainly benefit from some of the information you provide here.
    Please let me know if this ok with you. Thanks!

  17. Andrea Johnson
    Andrea Johnson
    February 28th, 2013 at 15:00 | #17

    Hi Michelle,

    That should be no problem.

    Thanks,
    Andrea

  18. Tim
    November 10th, 2013 at 03:08 | #18

    This doesn’t work anymore.

    Only with trademark requests.

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