Elon Musk’s X Has Started Selling Off Old Twitter Handles For $50,000
The initiative, which was rumored to have been in development for over a year, appears to have started rolling out lately, as email invitations are being sent to prospective buyers.
X, formerly Twitter, has begun to ramp up its efforts to sell user names that are no longer used. This is a move previously announced by Elon Musk, billionaire owner of the site.
Emails found by SMEThe @Handle Team has been working on an online marketplace to purchase account names that were left unregistered by their original owners. In some instances, X/Twitter sent emails to buyers asking for a $50k flat-fee to make a purchase.
You can send emails to anyone. SMEThe company’s @handle policy, fees, and process were updated recently.
An automated response from X’s press email account to SME as of publication time said only: “Busy now, please check back later.”
Musk’s company has been rumored to be planning to put such a program into effect for months. As early as November 2022, Musk posted on the social media site that a “vast number” of handles had been taken by “bots and trolls” and that he planned to start “freeing them up next month.” (In response, a user suggested a “Handle Marketplace” where people could sell accounts to each other, with the site pocketing a fee; SME couldn’t determine whether such a practice is now in place.)
According to a report from January, X staffers were discussing the sale of X/Twitter handle by the end of the month. The New York Times with Musk posting that he planned to free up as many as 1.5 billion usernames “soon.” In May, X began purging defunct accounts from its site.
As of Friday evening, X’s username registration policy posted on its website still stated “unfortunately, we cannot release inactive usernames at this time.” Its “inactive account policy,” meanwhile, warned usersLog in at least every 30 days in order to not be considered as inactive. However, X did not release inactive usernames.
Musk might want to consider using his own service to purchase at least one account soon: @handle itself, which hasn’t posted since 2019. It was fitting that its last post happened in 2019. postThe website associated with the rumor of a new launch was long gone.