How to Get the Twitter Handle You Really Want

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With over half a million new Twitter accounts created every single day and Twitter being one of the most used messaging services in the world, chances are the Twitter handle you really wanted was probably already taken. What’s even more frustrating is that many of these Twitter handles are created, then abandoned or never actually active on the platform.

When we started Everypost, the Twitter handle @everypost was already taken and appeared to be inactive. So we decided to start out with the handle @everypostme, while we figured out how we could eventually take over the @everypost username. It took several months, but eventually we were able to do it. So what are your options if you’re in the same situation?

Services like TweetClaims and TwitterCounter have popped up to notify you when a Twitter handle you like becomes available again. However, if you wait around for that to happen, you might have to wait around a very long time. Your other options may include sending a direct message to the user, or filing a claim with Twitter; however, it can be incredibly difficult to receive a response from either. So what else can you do? Here are a few tips from our own experience on how to get the Twitter handle you really want.

First Try Asking

Reaching out to the owner of the Twitter handle you’re after should be the first step, regardless of the status of the account. If you have a compelling reason for them to give up or exchange their handle, they may be willing to cooperate. It was impossible for us to receive a reply from the inactive @everypost account and there’s a good chance you won’t receive a response either, but it doesn’t hurt to try.

Is it Really an Inactive Account?

According to Twitter, in order to keep accounts active, users need to log in and tweet at least one time every six months. However, the actual standards for determining whether or not an account is inactive are a bit more complicated. Twitter states, “Inactivity is based on a combination of tweeting, logging in, and the date an account was created. Please note that you may not be able to tell whether an account is currently inactive, as not all signs of account activity are publicly visible.”

So while the Twitter handle you are after may appear inactive based on lack of tweets, the user may still be active on the social network and using it just to read other tweets. In our case, the @everypost handle appeared to be inactive, however we couldn’t be 100% sure. If the account is indeed inactive, this will help your case when you file a claim to gain control of that Twitter handle.

Are there any Trademark Violations?

Twitter identifies a trademark violation as an account that is using “a company or business name, logo, or other trademark-protected materials in a manner that may mislead or confuse others with regard to its brand or business affiliation may be considered a trademark policy violation.” If Twitter decides the purpose of the account is to mislead readers, they may suspend the account. If you are dealing with an unintentional trademark violation, Twitter may also grant you the name. For trademark violations, use this form to report and request a release. Be prepared when filling out the form, as Twitter will ask many detailed questions, including your trademark registration number.

We were finally granted the @everypost handle after filling out the trademark violation form and discovering the account was truly inactive. It was not easy and took some time, but if you have documentation that a user is violating your trademark rights, this will definitely speed up the process.

For more information and the complete rules on Twitter handles, visit the Twitter Help Center. We hope this information helps you exercise your brand’s rights and get the Twitter handle you really want!

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