Those who’ve attempted to snag their preferred Twitter handle know what a pain the process can be. Users can squat on an account for years, holding onto handles in spite of long stretches of inactivity. As spotted by a BBC reporter, a new move by the company could help alleviate the situation.
The service confirmed the move in an email to Techunzipped:
As part of our commitment to serve the public conversation, we’re working to clean up inactive accounts to present more accurate, credible information people can trust across Twitter. Part of this effort is encouraging people to actively log-in and use Twitter when they register an account, as stated in our Inactive Accounts Policy. We have begun proactive outreach to many accounts who have not logged into Twitter in over six months to inform them that their accounts may be permanently removed due to prolonged inactivity.
So, if you have not been using the social media application, you’ll relinquish the right to your username to someone else. Don’t be surprised to see someone else with your username posting on Twitter. From what we know, the plan will start taking effect on December 11 but a Twitter spokesperson has said that the closing of these accounts will take place over a period of months.
As for the timeline of opening up those accounts, Twitter’s not saying. Don’t expect to have thousands of new usernames available on December 12. And the fine print on the inactive account policy page still notes that the service does not “generally accept requests for usernames that seem inactive,” short of perceived trademark infringement.
Twitter is taking this step in an effort to clean up the social media platform. They want to present more accurate, credible information that is rather reliable. This essentially means that it’ll be easier for users to find exactly the accounts they’re looking for.