This article was published on February 25, 2010

Great Twitter usernames you can’t have (but soon could)

Great Twitter usernames you can’t have (but soon could)

xray_twitterAs we revealed recently, Twitter has plans to release all the old, neglected usernames that have long been abandoned by their original users.

Twitter counts a username as ‘lapsed’ if it hasn’t been logged into or tweeted from in six months.

While no timescale has been announced by Twitter for freeing up these accounts, we thought it would be fun to take a look at some of the lapsed usernames that we think will be most in demand once they get opened up.

While we don’t know how often the accounts below have been logged into, we do know that they haven’t been tweeted from recently and certainly seem abandoned….

twitter_s1. Single-letter usernames

Not many online services let you have single letter usernames. Twitter does and for the most part they’re taken. The three you might want to hold out for are:

@s (@s used to belong to I Want Sandy, a “personal email assistant” service that closed down when the engineer behind it took a job (ironically) with Twitter.

See also: @i – interestingly, @q supposedly doesn’t exist. However you can’t register it, indicating that Twitter may have reserved it for its own uses.

2. Personal names:

A big draw will be first names. Here are some free ones that we found…

3. Alphabetically first

Look through a phone directory and you’ll see that virtually every service industry has companies wanting to get to the top of the list by gaming the alphabet. Name your business ‘A1 Window Cleaners’ and you’ll probably be spotted long before ‘The Super-duper Window Cleaning Company’ because you’ll be at the top of the alphabetical list.

While that doesn’t really help on Twitter, those who already have such business names will be keen to grab:
@a1, @aardvark

love_twitter4. Cool Words:

Sometimes you just want a cool word for your Twitter username. These people grabbed a great name and then abandoned it. If Twitter freed them up, you could have:

@love (until the middle of last year this account was heavily used to promote romance novels and romantic comedies. Now it’s been abandoned.
@sax (Mysteriously, the sole tweet on this account is simply the word “daytrader”)
See also: @xray, @power, @magic, @cool, @wow, @lover, @pogostick, @prawn

5. Abandoned Ideas:

Sometimes a name is just sitting awaiting a good idea to go with it. That’s the case here…
@Why – this username is taken by someone who clearly thought there was a great business to go with it. They just never quite worked out what it was. Witness tweets like “Pondering a clever service to make use of this account” and “Keep the account alive” – something they’ve forgotten to do now, the sixth month deadline has passed.

6. Potential Services:

Besides, how about ideas that aren’t weren’t intended as services but really could be?
@Booze – We can see this being used in a couple of ways. It could give advice on quitting alcohol… or more likely be used by someone selling it. Maybe to accompany, a site currently serving no useful purpose?

7. Childish:

Can’t think of a username? Why not grab the first childish name that comes to mind? We found…
@Poo Yes, we started low, @Shit Yes, we went lower. If you fancy some innuendo, how about @ivorbiggun?
There’s also @Pooh (although admittedly this could be used by Disney for tweets from Winnie the Pooh too. We imagine his tweets would be along the lines of: “I want honey”, “Hello @ChristopherRobbin, want to throw sticks in the river?” and “Seriously Tigger, stop bouncing – it’s really getting annoying now.”

twitter_porn8. Porn

Believe it or not, @Porn has been allowed to lapse. Until June 2009 it tweeted about “Twitter porn personalities of the day”.

9. Brands might want these

Twitter will happily transfer existing Twitter usernames to trademark holders (for example, @BBC was passed to the BBC after a bit of trouble last year), However, we’re surprised that Nike hasn’t grabbed @JustDoIt or Coke hasn’t got a hold of @CokeIsIt yet.

Do you have your eye on a lapsed Twitter username you’d like to poach? Leave a comment and let us know…

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