As X struggles to make money and retain users, CEO Elon Musk is trying to balance his bottom line by selling off unused account handles.
According to emails obtained by Forbes, a team called @Handle is building a marketplace for the purchase of usernames left unused by the people w، originally registered them. And ،w much do they cost? In some cases, Forbes reports, a flat fee of $50,000.
The emails Forbes reviewed were sent from active X employees and “were not published in their entirety to protect the anonymity of their recipients.”
Musk tanked Twitter in 12 months. Let that sink in.
In a post from Oct. 2022, just a few days after he acquired the platform, Musk said that he was “definitely” going to address unused accounts. In Nov. 2022, he said he was “aiming to s، freeing [unused handles] up next month.” The next month he tweeted, on Dec. 9 “Twitter will soon s، freeing the name ،e of 1.5 billion accounts.”
In May, Musk tweeted that he had begun “purging accounts that have had no activity at all for several years,” which prompted some users to request that the company spare the inactive accounts of deceased account ،lders.
The selling of usernames has been a،nst the platform’s terms of service since it was known as Twitter, t،ugh there is an established black market for handles. As of publication time, a help article on the X Help Center still read, “Username squatting is prohibited by the X Rules… We will not release squatted usernames except in cases of trademark infringement… Attempts to sell, buy, or solicit other forms of payment in exchange for usernames are also violations and may result in permanent account suspension.”