HomeTechnologyTwitter Said to Consider Selling User Names to Boost Revenue

Twitter Said to Consider Selling User Names to Boost Revenue

Twitter has thought-about promoting consumer names to generate new income as its proprietor, Elon Musk, tries to resuscitate the corporate’s enterprise, two folks with information of the plan mentioned.

Twitter staff have held conversations about promoting some consumer names for the service since not less than December, the folks mentioned. Engineers have mentioned working on-line auctions the place folks can bid for the consumer names, that are the phrases, numbers or string of characters that comply with the @ signal by which accounts are recognized on the platform. Mr. Musk’s consumer title, for instance, is @elonmusk.

It’s unclear if the challenge will transfer ahead and if the plan impacts all consumer names or solely a subset, the folks mentioned. However Mr. Musk mentioned final month that he wished to begin eliminating inactive accounts on Twitter and unlock 1.5 billion consumer names. Solely sure consumer names — equivalent to these of well-known folks, manufacturers and common names — might have worth.

The social media firm has been in turmoil since Mr. Musk purchased it for $44 billion in October. Given the deal’s excessive price ticket, the billionaire is beneath strain to make the acquisition successful.

Mr. Musk has since slashed bills at Twitter, ordering layoffs, chopping different prices and stopping vendor funds. On the similar time, he has tried discovering new avenues to generate income as Twitter experiences a pointy downturn in advert income. He has provide you with a revamped subscription plan so customers pay for verification badges, and the corporate has filed paperwork with the Treasury Division to course of funds.

Mr. Musk has mentioned he has visions of making “an every part app,” much like China’s WeChat, which greater than a billion folks use to search out information, hook up with pals, make funds and order meals.

Distinctive consumer names — also called handles — may be profitable. They’re typically claimed by early adopters of social media platforms and a few folks and types are keen to pay 1000’s of {dollars} for them. Black markets have sprung up the place folks should purchase “unique gangster,” or O.G., consumer names which are desired as a result of they function a brief phrase or a quantity and will have been deserted by their homeowners.

Twitter and Mr. Musk didn’t reply to requests for remark.

Twitter’s rules forbid the shopping for and promoting of handles. The commerce has beforehand attracted hackers. In 2020, a 17-year-old in Florida was arrested after hacking Twitter to acquire consumer names to promote, compromising the accounts of Mr. Musk and celebrities.

Telegram, a preferred messaging platform, mentioned it might let folks public sale their handles in October.

4 days after buying the corporate in October, Mr. Musk tweeted that he would “definitely” look to purge accounts which have been inactive for a yr, a few of which have coveted consumer names. In December, he mentioned Twitter would unlock the names of accounts that were “apparent account deletions with no tweets & no log in for years.”

His plan ignited concerns amongst some who feared the corporate would delete the accounts of people that had died and whose Twitter pages had been used to memorialize them. As of July — the final time the corporate reported monetary figures — Twitter had practically 238 million every day energetic customers who noticed advertisements.

Twitter additionally continues to put off staff. Mr. Musk has diminished the corporate’s work power by about 75 p.c from the 7,500 staff it had on the time he took over. Final week, new layoffs affected dozens of staff, together with engineers on promoting and staffers engaged on belief and security, three folks with information of the cuts mentioned. The Data earlier reported the layoffs.

This week, Mr. Musk, who additionally leads the electrical automaker Tesla, emailed Twitter staff saying he was out there for conferences after ending “most of my Tesla work.” He reminded them that he should approve all product design and engineering modifications “regardless of how small,” in line with a duplicate of the word, which was seen by The New York Instances.

“We’re going to agonize till we obtain as near the right product as doable,” Mr. Musk wrote.

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