Twitter is going to start getting rid of derelict accounts. The company sent warning emails to users who haven’t been using their accounts; if they want to keep their handle, they’ll have to login by December 11 and follow the on-screen steps – including accepting the company’s latest terms and policies.
Twitter told The Verge that it’s proactively reaching out to people who haven’t logged in for over six months, in accordance with its inactive account policy. The company hasn’t said when unused accounts will become available to the public again, other than noting the removal process “will happen over many months.”
It’s not clear how the company will deal with people who used to use Twitter but then stopped, but from the sounds of it those messages might be lost. When asked how it would handle accounts owned by dead people, Twitter told The Verge it’s thinking of how to memorialize those tweets.
In any case, it seems like you might not have to wait too much longer to snatch up some old usernames.