Elon Musk’s social media giant X, previously known as Twitter, has initiated the sale of dormant Twitter account usernames for an astonishing $50,000.
Despite the company stating that inactive usernames cannot be released at this time, an internal team known as @HandleTeam is reportedly actively developing a marketplace for unused handles, as revealed by Forbes. The ongoing sales have been facilitated through email solicitations to potential buyers, who are requested to pay a fixed fee.
In a conversation from November of the prior year, when discussing the possibility of granting amnesty to previously suspended accounts, Musk highlighted that a substantial number of handles had been seized by bots and trolls. He indicated his intention to start reclaiming and making them available for use in the following month.
During the same conversation, another user named Paris Vegas put forward the idea of Elon Musk establishing a Handle Marketplace, which would allow users to exchange handles using an auction-style format similar to eBay. This proposal underscored the potential for such a marketplace to serve as a practical way for X to both free up dormant handles and generate additional revenue.
Later, in December, Musk hinted at the company’s plans to begin the process of reclaiming usernames from 1.5 billion accounts. However, no official public announcement has been made to confirm this action.
Twitter will soon start freeing the name space of 1.5 billion accounts
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 9, 2022
It’s worth noting that as of 2023, DemandSage’s data indicates there are a total of 1.3 billion Twitter accounts on the platform, with only 237.8 million of them being actively used on a daily basis.
In January, The New York Times reported that X was considering selling usernames to make more money. During that time, the company’s engineers discussed the feasibility of such sales, but no concrete plans had been formed back then. It was also noted that only the usernames of notable personalities were valuable.