Elon Musk And X Are Snatching Up Old Usernames. First, It Was @X. Now, More Are Slowly Being Taken Over.

Zinger Key Points
  • Elon Musk acquired Twitter for $44 billion in 2022.
  • The platform rebranded to X and has scooped up some usernames to integrate into the X family of content.

Billionaire Elon Musk acquired social media platform Twitter, which he has since rebranded to X, for $44 billion in 2022.

With the acquisition, Musk now controls the platform and has the power to make changes and, in some cases, snatch away usernames that people have been using for decades.

What Happened: When Twitter announced its rebrand to X, some users pointed out the interesting fact that one person owned the @X handle on the platform, leading to theories of a buyout by Musk to get the one-letter username.

Instead, the original owner of the @x username reported that he was not compensated for the name and saw it ripped away. The account’s previous owner, Gene X Hwang, told The Telegraph that he received no compensation and was offered merchandise and a visit to the X headquarters to meet the team instead.

Hwang, who now has the X handle @x12345678998765, posted “alls well that ends well” shortly after his old account was taken.

It appears that the newly named X didn’t stop at acquiring just Hwang's original username and has since snatched up some prominent one-word accounts that cover keywords.

Twitter user Jeremy Vaught shared that the @music account that he has been running for 16 years was taken from him and that  he was “super pissed.” Vaught shared a letter he received from X.

“The user handle associated with account @music will be affiliated with X Corp. Accordingly, your user handle will be changed to a new user handle. However, we appreciate your loyalty and want to minimize any inconvenience this may cause. At this time we will be changing this handle to @musicfan. We have listed additional handles that you can choose from below. All data associated with your prior use handle, including followers and following data, will be transferred to your new user handle.”

The letter, which was signed “Best regards, x” included suggestions of @musicmusic, @music123 and @musiclover.

Vaught expressed his frustration in a comment to Fast Company but also acknowledged that terms of service for platforms like Twitter often include the ability to take away usernames.

“We don’t own that domain, that is theirs, and we’re borrowing it. They can always take it away,” Vaught told Fast Company.

A post on Hacker News shares a similar tale of the @sports username being taken after 16 years.

“I’ve been a user for 16 years, since their first day of public signups. I login every day and use Twitter for hours every day,” the user said.

The user shared a similar letter to the one sent to the @music account owner with X suggesting new username ideas of @allsports, @sportsfan and @sportslife.

Related Link: Elon Musk Now The Most Followed Person On Twitter 

Why It’s Important: A quick scan of the newly named X shows gold checkmarks and X logos for accounts that include @music, @sports, @movies and @tv. These accounts also show account-creation dates dating back to 2007, 2011 and 2012.

Another user on X couldn’t help but suggest that the Musk-owned company might not be done snatching up usernames and pointed to financial media outlet Bloomberg, which is the owner of keywords like @crypto, @markets, @opinion, @technology, @economics, @luxury, @wealth, @tax and @podcasts.

Sources previously said that Musk was considering having Twitter sell off usernames of old accounts via online auctions. The report came after Musk said he wanted to free up 1.5 billion usernames by eliminating inactive accounts.

X user Josh Ong (@beijingdou) might have said it best with the post “X gon’ take it from ya,” a play on words of the DMX song “X Gon’ Give It To Ya.”

Read Next: If You Invested $100 When Elon Musk First Tweeted About Dogecoin, Here's How Much You'd Have Today

Photo: Shutterstock

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