How To Claim Your Twitter Name



A few weeks ago I wrote a post pleading for Twitter to release dormant usernames. The astute amongst you may have noticed that I now have my real name as my Twitter username @SeanClark.

Thanks to a suggestion in a comment by @SeeBiz, Twitter transferred ownership of @SeanClark over to me in a matter of weeks.

A Simple Process

Under Twitter’s Policy Information there is a section on Inactive Accounts but at this time there is no way to claim a username from an inactive account. As you would expect Trademarks are protected, but you can also claim against impersonation.

Stop Impersonating Me

As the Twitter username that was inactive matched my real name exactly I completed the Impersonation Form. I also explained that the user in question had not used the dormant account for nearly 3 years, on the form.

To my surprise the username was released within 2 weeks. Twitter even seamlessly migrated my old account, @seanEclark, to my new one, @SeanClark, on my behalf.

I may have been helped by the fact I also own the domain, and was able to include an email address at that domain.

No Guarantees

Of course this method is not foolproof. Following my success I told fellow blogger Fadra Nally, @allthingsfadra, knowing she also wanted to claim her name; unfortunately she was not successful.

If you have been waiting on Twitter to release a dormant username, the impersonation clause may work for you.

About Sean Clark

Building successful online companies since 1999, we help you market your business online. Whether you need help with Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), Paid Search (PPC) or Social Media Marketing call us today on 01603 343477 for a free initial consultation.

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  • Anonymous

    To be fair, I do own @FadraNally. It’s the inactive @Fadra account that I’d love to claim. It’s only ever had one tweet. I pleaded my case as best I could. Even though there aren’t many tweeters named Fadra, I’m apparently not unique enough to fall under the impersonation clause.

  • Thanks Sean, Love this I’m in the same boat and will try to reclaim my name. as well! Great post! 

  • Anonymous

    I used the same method last week but unfortunately wasn’t as luck as you…

  • Hey Fadra, my husband was lucky, he didnt use the impersonation clause, but sent an email to support. Frankly it was more than 2 years ago. That account was inactive at that time for 9 months. He had @rutgerhensel, and he got @rutger. Maybe emailing support at Twitter will help? 

  • @techieideas:disqus very frustrating, let’s hope they release the names soon

  • @twitter-16513931:disqus Good luck, let me know how you get on

  • Good to know. I’m resharing with the Social Media in Organizations (SMinOrgs) Community via LI and Twitter.

    Courtney Hunt

  • Hi Sean
    Read your  post with interest!
    I recently had a very similar story and I can only say “well done Twitter” and “Thank you”
    It helps if you own the domain name and possibly have some sort of business (even if you haven’t  started the business or trademarked it)
    My  previous post (FYI)

  • @twitter-24872751:disqus That’s good to know, thanks for sharing

  • Ryan

    Did Twitter contact you any time within the 2 week period?

  • @1d65df3058fc0ec04097480a7ab0e69b:disqus They did send me an email just confirming the switch over yes.

  • Ryan

    I’ve submitted claims to the form on 3/7/12 & 3/21/12 to retrieve a user handle that is the same as our business’ name. Unfortunately, twitter hasn’t even responded. We’ve only received their “canned” confirmation emails instantly after submitting the form. I’ve submitted another claim today. Hopefully 3rd time’s a charm. btw, we own the .com, .net, .org, .biz, .me, .mobi, and usernames on facebook, linkedin, instagram, and many other social networks

  • Inayatullah

    I used the same method last week but unfortunately wasn’t as luck as you.

  • christo

    Hi Sean. Great article. What about company names? Someone private is using mine, and its been dormant for ages and we still got rejected. (and we have the trademark!).