In recent news, there’s a buzz surrounding X.com, formerly known as Twitter, and its intriguing plan to potentially sell old and unused usernames. Yes, you read that right – usernames! If you’re wondering what’s behind this intriguing move and what it means for users and the platform, let’s dive in.
Why is This Happening?
Elon Musk, who acquired X.com just over a year ago for a whopping $44 billion, has seen the platform’s value dwindle to $19 billion. In his quest to monetize the social media giant, Musk has been exploring various strategies, and one of them is selling usernames.
What’s the Deal with Usernames?
Usernames on social media can be more valuable than you might think, especially for high-profile individuals and brands. They provide a clean and easily recognizable identity in the digital realm. Think of it like owning a unique piece of internet real estate. Just like people squat on domain names in hopes of selling them later, X.com is banking on users who no longer need their old usernames.
The Inside Scoop
Forbes recently got its hands on emails that suggest a team within X.com, known as the “@Handle Team,” is setting up a marketplace for these usernames. They’ve even started reaching out to potential buyers, offering usernames for as much as $50,000. These emails reveal that the company has made changes to its guidelines, processes, and fees related to usernames.
But Is It Allowed?
As of now, X.com does not officially permit the buying or selling of usernames. Their username registration policy states that they cannot release inactive usernames at this time. To prevent usernames from being considered inactive, users are advised to log in at least once every 30 days. X.com also frowns upon “username squatting” and considers it a violation of their rules.
The Bigger Picture
Elon Musk envisions turning X.com into an ‘everything app,’ a versatile platform like Weibo in China. He believes that your X.com posts can be a significant indicator of your potential as an employee or even a romantic partner. Musk’s goal is to enhance the dating experience on the platform by improving the process of discovering interesting people.
X.com’s financial challenges were apparent when Musk acquired it. The platform had lost nearly half of its advertising revenue, and it was burdened by a substantial debt load. Musk aimed to regain the trust of advertisers by bringing in Linda Yaccarino, a former NBC executive with strong ties to the advertising industry, but progress has been slow.
The Bottom Line
X.com’s journey under Musk’s ownership has been a rocky one. Despite his efforts to breathe new life into the platform, it seems to be losing relevance in the social media world. Some blame this decline on Musk’s vision of reshaping the platform into a technology company rather than focusing on its role as a social network driven by people and ad dollars.
In summary, X.com is exploring the possibility of selling old usernames to boost its financial standing. While it may sound like an unconventional move, it reflects the ever-evolving landscape of social media platforms and their strategies for survival and growth. Only time will tell whether this daring approach will pay off for X.com and its new owner, Elon Musk.