I have several Twitter accounts and even though I mostly use my personal one, I do have a few niche websites for which I set up independent accounts. For my franchise website www.FranchiseBrief.com, I really thought I would be able to get the @franchise username because I assumed no one in the franchise industry knew about Twitter yet. I was wrong! @franchise was already squatted and I had to go for the @franchisebrief username.
I was actually ok with it as I didn’t have the choice. I was kinda pissed though because @franchise was not even used. The person who registered it clearly did it to secure this username but it never gave any status update, didn’t follow anyone and had only 1 follower. I assumed it was like with domain names. First come, first served…
But last week I came across this blog post that actually explains you how to get the Twitter username you’ve always wanted. Here is what I learned from it.
Twitter has a six month rule for all accounts and if the account hasn’t been active within this time period, you can make a request to actually get this username:
An account is considered inactive if it hasn’t been logged into or updated in over 6 months. Inactive accounts are automatically removed from Twitter. To keep your account active, log in or post an update.
I decided to follow the process to claim the @franchise Twitter username. The first step is to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org amd explain the situation. I received a confirmation email from Twitter within seconds and a few minutes later, I received this email:
Hi Sebastien Page,
We’re working on your user name request. To help expedite the process, please reply to this email and include the following information if you haven’t already:
* your existing Twitter user name and/or the inactive user name you’d like to acquire
* if you’d like the new user name to belong to a new account (if yes, please provide an email address unattached to another Twitter account)
* if you’d like to change the user name on your existing account
Please be aware that if you’d like to change the user name on your existing account, Support will do this for you automatically when the user name is released so it doesn’t get taken. This will not affect your existing direct messages or replies, however, all replies and direct messages going forward must be addressed to the new user name once it is changed.
If your user name request concerns impersonation, trademark infringement, copyright, or another Terms of Service violation, please send your request to email@example.com for help from our Terms of Service group.
More information about inactive user names is here.
This morning I received an email from the Twitter support team informing me that they had successfully switched my account to @franchise.
That was pretty simple and painless.