Elon Musk’s desperate search for a way to boost income continues. After the introduction of the controversial paid blue ticks, Twitter is now considering the possibility of auction user usernames. This is suggested by a recent report by the New York Times, which states that the idea is currently being examined by Elon Musk.
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According to the NYT, the company’s engineers have considered holding online auctions in which people can bid on usernames. At the moment it is not clear if the project will be approved or how it will work.
Twitter: Is there a market for auctioned usernames?
Exactly one month ago, at the end of 2022, Elon Musk wrote in a tweet that “Twitter would have freed up around 1.5 billion usernames”, suggesting that long inactive accounts would be deleted. But the question that many are asking is: are there really people willing to pay for a username? Apparently yes.
Twitter will soon start freeing the name space of 1.5 billion accounts
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 9, 2022
Currently Twitter does not allow the trading of usernames between individuals, but there is a real one on the web black market in this sense, also very flourishing. The practice of selling usernames has also attracted the attention of some hackers in the past, who have understood the potential of the market.
In 2020 a teenager was arrested after having hacked several Twitter accounts, subtracting the accesses to different users, even celebrities. The boy then put the usernames up for sale on the web, before inevitably being arrested by the police. Among the stolen accounts also those of Elon Musk, Barack Obama, Bill Gates and other.
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Telegram, WhatsApp’s main competitor in the world of instant messaging apps, also recently announced that will allow you to auction user and channel usernames. Telegram, in this specific case, will do it through the blockchain TON.
In short, it is clear that the username market can generate money. Liquidity that Twitter desperately needs, given that the acquisition of Elon Musk cost approx 44 billion dollars. To recoup the investment, Musk had to sell billions of Tesla shares. Movements that cost Elon Musk the record for the richest man in the world and also a Guinness World Record: that of the man who has lost the most money in the world.