Twitter may be exploring yet another way to increase profits. CEO Elon Musk’s latest move is reportedly about selling desirable usernames to the highest bidder. Before his acquisition of the company, the vast majority of Twitter’s income came from advertising revenue. Musk’s arrival came with a number of cost cutting measures aimed at making Twitter profitable. Some of his more controversial policies led to an advertiser exodus. Major car manufacturers pulled out following a suggestion there may be a conflict of interest as Musk also owns major EV company Tesla. There was also a very public spat with Apple, wherein Musk initially claimed that the Silicon Valley giant had pulled almost all advertising from the platform following his takeover.
In terms of monetization, Musk’s most ambitious scheme was Twitter Blue. The price of the premium service increased from just under $5 per month to $8, and it was tied to the verification system. Unfortunately for Musk, the initial implementation of the new system was a disaster. Trolls took advantage and imitated high-profile accounts, leading to the suspension of new Twitter Blue, while Musk and his team went back to the drawing board. Twitter Blue has since relaunched, but still has its problems. Despite its implementation, Musk is still looking for other ways to recoup some of the $44 billion he spent to acquire Twitter.
You may be able to buy a Twitter username next
According to The New York Times, two sources familiar with the matter claim Musk is looking at selling desirable Twitter usernames to the highest bidder. They suggest these plans have been discussed since late last year and would involve a series of online auctions. Beyond that, details are scarce. It isn’t known if the names for sale are currently unused, belong to the 1.5 billion inactive Twitter accounts Musk claims will be deleted, or if they include the handles of active accounts too. Theoretically, there could be a situation where more affluent users can snag a handle someone has had for over a decade by simply lining Musk’s proverbial pockets.
Under the current terms of service, users are not allowed to buy or sell usernames or accounts. If you jump the gun and decide to respond to an offer that crops up in your DMs you could simply be banned. Musk himself has yet to confirm or deny the rumors, but given the apparent need for extra revenue, anything is possible. Like other major decisions, there’s also a chance Twitter users could be polled on the subject. If the poll doesn’t align with Musk’s wishes, however, there’s always a chance he could just ignore it anyway.