Twitter may auction usernames in a bid to boost revenue
Twitter and its owner-cum-CEO Elon Musk are desperate to boost the platform's revenue. It seems that the company is ready to try anything to achieve that. Per The New York Times, the microblogging platform has been mulling selling usernames online as a way to generate revenue. If Twitter decides to go through with this, we don't know how it plans to do so.
Why does this story matter?
- We have seen hackers putting desirable usernames up for sale. However, it is not often that a social media company decides or considers selling usernames.
- It is not unheard of though. Last year, Telegram decided to hold an auction for usernames, both individual accounts and channels.
- Even then, Twitter's plan is an indication of its financial troubles.
Twitter engineers have been discussing auctioning usernames online
Engineers at Twitter have been considering auctioning off usernames, says the report. In such auctions, people will be able to bid for the usernames. The idea has been in consideration since December last year. Last month, Musk had announced that the platform "will soon start freeing up 1.5 billion accounts." It is unclear whether the idea will come to fruition or not.
Unique usernames are valuable
If you are doubtful about the viability of usernames as a revenue stream, here's something interesting for you. The most valuable Telegram username (@news) was sold for $2.42 million. However, not all usernames have an intrinsic value big enough to add to Twitter's coffers. But unique usernames can always fetch good money, as black market sales and hackers have shown us time and again.
Twitter's policy prohibits buying and selling of usernames
Twitter's present policy is against buying and selling usernames. Username squatting is prohibited by the platform. "Attempts to sell, buy, or solicit other forms of payment in exchange for usernames are also violations and may result in permanent account suspension," reads Twitter's policy. The company may need to change the policy for its new idea to take shape.