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05|02|2009 02:09 pm EDT

Exchange for Twitter User Names Bending The Rules, Making Usernames More Like Domains

by Adam Strong in Categories: Up to the Minute

Mike at TheDomains.com pointed out an article on TechCrunch about Tweexchnage.com a site where users can buy and sell Twitter usernames.  In December, we wrote several articles about these emerging issues surrounding social media site usernames and more specifically how Twitter user names are becoming like domains.  We pointed out Top 100 brands that don’t use Twitter and how these names are being “squatted” . There was also a case of a company that tried to pressure an individual out of a Twitter username account.

I’m surprised it took this long to start an “exchange” to sell usernames, perhaps others who had the idea (myself included) realized that Twitter rules state that buying/selling of accounts is forbidden.  It will be interesting to see how Twitter reacts to the proposition of selling account names.  Users listing their accounts on Tweexchange run the risk that Twitter can at their whim, take away the account being offered for sale.  Not exactly a sound business model or a smart move if your account is indeed of value.

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  • http://www.ygrab.com Ross

    Twitter does not allow this in their TOS.

  • Adam Strong

    we pointed that out, but thanks

  • http://www.ohashi.info Kevin Ohashi

    CNN hired that guy who had cnn breaking account as a consultant to bend the rules didn’t they?

  • bob

    There are two sets of rules one set for the big guns like cnn and a second set for us. Twitter should have shut down cnn breaking account but needed to milk all the pr for the big race to a million followers.

  • http://www.XR.com XR.com

    Twitter isn’t actually clear. http://twitter.zendesk.com/forums/26257/entries/18370 says that they don’t allow you to sell user names, but they don’t say that you can’t hire someone as a consultant and as part of that consulting they transfer the twitter account (which is what CNN did). So, it shouldn’t be a site “selling” twitter accounts, it should be a site offering consulting services that include the transfer of the account.

  • bob

    @Tweexchange Twitter account shut down.

  • http://www.blogzon.de Bzon

    I saved a lot of Twitter names of artists, websites and comapnies. There are a lot of free good names, titles and marks.

  • http://www.chrisdesouza.com Chris Desouza

    Bob said it best. There are 2 set of rules. Even among them domainers.

    You have 2 choices…

    1] Bend and rules and become big and strong.
    2] Become big and strong and bend the rules.

  • http://www.domaindistribution.com Jen Sale

    Does Twitter have any terms regarding TMs? Do you think a company has any rights to a username? I haven’t looked into this myself – just throwing it out there.

  • http://www.traffiq.com Advertising Exchange

    Traffiq.com has great advertising exchange services.

  • Beggars Liars Thieves.

    If Twitter allows any trading of names for profit (given that it is a profit making business) then it could get its arse literally sued off by a registered trademark holder or done for defamation etc etc…

    You want to be real careful with names, you damage someones business and they will damage you.

  • http://www.hintpoint.com warren

    some experts not really bother about twitter and even predict the site going to close down soon.

    • stephenjohnsont

      I would not trust you with a penny.