Following the news that Twitter seem to have added email verification to their signup process it’s about time they sorted out the farce that are inactive accounts. There are literally hundres of thousands of accounts out there registered by people who simply have no intention of using and, like domain names, stop ordinary users from getting the name they would really, really like – a true case of “I was here first, so ner ner!”
For the last 6 months Twitter it has been documented on most searches on how to recover or re-register that inactive twitter account. The problem being that the information was incorrect. It was suggested that you email email@example.com with information such as 1) your username, 2) the username you want etc to get that inactive username back.
Twitter has since changed this policy and is currently not allowing ANY inactive usernames to be released. When you follow the outdated method above (as I did in October 2009) you get this nice response back from Twitter:
Twitter is not currently releasing inactive user names. We’re working on a better long term solution for this, and we should have more news soon.
As of 15th January 2010 this policy is still in place and for many users out there the frustration is still there.
Being one of the many users who missed out on their “ideal” Twitter account when the service first launched I have tried on numerous occasions to get a hold of it. These have involved:
All of these methods have proved fruitless and still the Twitter account remains inactive.
There are 3 simple things that Twitter can do to solve this problem that will cover their own backs AND make their users happy:
Brands aside (which Twitter adhere to already (eventually)), I hope Twitter come up with a sufficient, yet simple, solution to this problem for personal users. Ultimately it has appease both parties involved in a mix up like this and simply allow common sense to take course – They have an account they don’t use, and have no intention of using, yet someone wants to use that account so give it up!
Obviously there will be numerous laws in place in the day and age of “Look at me & I will sue!”, but I just hope they can come up with a fair system to release inactive Twitter accounts and the best I can do is offer them 3 simple solutions. Over to you Twitter!