Twitter is sending out emails to owners of inactive accounts with a warning: sign in by December 11th, or your account will be history and its username will be up for grabs again.
“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,” a spokesperson said. “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.”
Twitter hasn’t yet said exactly when recouped usernames will be made available to existing users. The account removal process “will happen over many months — not just on a single day,” according to the spokesperson. So don’t expect some massive username rush to happen on December 12th. It might be awhile.
If you’ve set up a bot or another secondary account, you should be safe as long as it’s stayed active. The BBC’s Dave Lee reported on the username cleanup. It’s not unusual for huge online platforms to do this from time to time. Yahoo launched an “account recycling” effort in 2013, though some people who grabbed inactive usernames wound up receiving email intended for the old account holder.
Also, usernames with under five characters can no longer be registered on Twitter, so that’s another thing to consider when dreaming about switching to that username you’ve always wanted. The username some other fool is failing to put to good use.
The email being sent out has a subject line of “Don’t lose access to @(username).” Here’s what it says:
So which username will you be going for? Actually, probably best to keep that to yourself until it’s locked in.