February 05, 2009

Twitter Squats on People Wanting Squatter Usernames

By Jesse Stay of Stay N' Alive (Twitter/FriendFeed)

On StayNAlive, I recently wrote about how I was able to change my Twitter username from "JesseStay" to just "Jesse", by a new rule, announced recently by Twitter, allowing anyone to obtain the usernames of people who had not updated their account in a long time, and did not appear to be using their accounts. The process was simple - just e-mail "username@twitter.com", and you could obtain the squatted username of your choice.

The process was so easy that I was able to obtain my first name. Mona Nokamura, who also writes on LouisGray.com, was also able to obtain her first name instead of "@monaaa", and users everywhere were finally able to get the names they have been trying to obtain since they joined Twitter.

Evidently, Twitter's systems must have been overwhelmed with requests, as they appear to be putting the kibosh on the average Joe getting the username they want. Prashanth from Control Enter left a comment on my blog sharing that evidently, Twitter is now responding to requests to "username@twitter.com" with the following e-mail:
"Due to high ticket volume, Twitter Support is unable to change usernames in cases of inactive accounts. Unless your user name issue involves Terms of Service violations, you’ll have to wait until all inactive user names are released. We’re working on a better long term solution for this."
If there is a blatant copyright violation or impersonation or similar circumstance, it is suggested you contact Twitter's Terms of Service group via Twitter's Web form. It would appear the gold rush for usernames is over for the time being, although it was nice while it lasted.

Read more by Jesse Stay at Stay N' Alive.