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It is now unclear if the idea of selling names on Twitter will be in action. However, last month, its owner Elon Musk said Twitter was preparing to remove as many as 1.5 billion accounts that were inactive for at least a year.
Social media company Twitter Inc is considering selling user names to generate more revenue. According to those familiar with the matter, the company’s employees have been talking about the possibility of selling some user names for the service since last December. Besides, Twitter engineers held discussions about online auctions where users would be able to bid for names that are the words, numbers, or a set of characters that follow the @ sign.
It is now unclear if the idea of selling names on Twitter will be in action. However, last month, its owner Elon Musk said Twitter was preparing to remove as many as 1.5 billion accounts that were inactive for at least a year. The purpose of the elimination is to free up dormant handles, or user names, and create the “namespace” for new users. Musk explained that only certain user names, such as those of famous people or brands, have value.
Notably, the idea of selling unique names, or so-called handles, is lucrative itself. It is often early adopters of social media platforms with creative names, and then some people and brands are offering to pay thousands of dollars for them. So far, Twitter has been forbidding trade of handles as previously, it attracted hackers. In 2020, a 17-year-old in Florida was arrested after hacking Twitter to obtain user names to sell, which compromised the accounts of Musk and celebrities.
On Twitter, a violation of the policy may result in permanent account suspension.
The Instagram policy also states that you can’t sell, license, or purchase any account or data obtained from the platform. This includes attempts to buy, sell or transfer any aspect of your account, including your username.
Meanwhile, the popular messaging platform Telegram said it would allow its users to auction handles.
Twitter Facing Financial Challenges
Currently, Twitter is facing a number of financial issues. Since Elon Musk closed a $44 billion acquisition deal, he has been under pressure to keep the company on the float and bring its revenue up. The company failed to turn an annual profit in three of the last five years and took on $13 billion in debt as part of the deal. Above all, digital advertising which makes up 90% of Twitter’s revenue has been falling across the industry.
To rescue the company and to meet the credit obligations, Elon Musk started selling his Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA) shares. Besides, the billionaire reached investors to offer them Twitter shares at the price set when taking the company private back in October.
The actions taken did not help a lot. As a result, Twitter is looking for other ways to survive. Withing its cost-cutting policy, Twitter is laying off its employees. In the past few months, Twitter has laid off more than 3,700 employees to cut operations costs. Additionally, hundreds more have since resigned as a show of solidarity with the affected people. As a result, the company is facing lawsuits, and there are potentially more on the way from the affected employees.