How one guy got his name on Twitter for $250

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It’s a question I hear all the time, and one in which I’ve never really had a good answer for. It usually goes something like this, “hey Morgan, since you know the in’s and out’s of acquiring a domain name can you help me get a Twitter handle?” My answer to this question has always been, “nope, I wish I could help but I honestly don’t know the first thing about acquiring a Twitter handle.”

Unlike domain names there isn’t a universal Twitter handle lookup service like WHOIS out there. Instead you’ll really have to tap your inner detective to track down a Twitter handle or go the trademark path. Today Haje Kamps wrote an article on Techcrunch about how he got @haje for $250, and as you’ll see if you read it, while it took six-months, it wasn’t as hard as one might think:

“You’ll never guess how I succeeded in getting my first name as my Twitter handle. It involved a six-month campaign that included some light Internet stalking, badgering staff at Twitter, $250 and a visit to the patent office.” (Source – Techcrunch)

So how did he do it? He went out and got a Trademark, made a business card, and used Twitter’s own internal process to his advantage. In the domain name world this would be a risky move that could easily turn into a reverse domain name hijacking charge. However in the Twitterverse you aren’t the owner of your Twitter handle, Twitter is, and they do have rules and regulations that can work for or against you in the case that someone has a trademark on the Twitter handle you’re using.

“Anyway, armed with my trademark, I put on my finest suit, combed my hair, ate a couple of breath mints and contacted Twitter’s customer support. Of course, given that Twitter’s support team is a web form, there’s no way for them to know what I was wearing, but damn it, this was a big moment.

I sent them a link to the approved trademark application, and the ball was rolling.”

What do you think? Is this a good way to get a Twitter handle? Comment and let your voice be heard!

{ 6 comments… add one }

  • AbdulBasit Makrani April 11, 2016, 12:13 am

    That’s like stealing someone’s identity. IMO, not a good way to get Twitter handle.

    Reply
  • Alan April 11, 2016, 12:41 am

    If it wasn’t used by somebody else then it’s a different story.. if it was?? then it’s Thievery.

    Reply
  • Joe April 11, 2016, 6:05 am

    Twitter is a trademark and many others.
    Not infringe upon the rules of this market and industry nor the trademark if getting register the domain name Twitterverse.
    There are many keywords with trademarks that can be registered as domain names if the registrar accepts it and whether there are legal patents by the same bodies that grant the trademarks to make money using the domain name.
    Laws passed in any country in the world when published in the official documents never published trap but being in the same approved laws.
    It is the system in which we move yesterday, today and tomorrow.

    Reply
  • Nick April 11, 2016, 7:07 am

    This is very bad news. That means, then, I could do the same for anyone’s name using this as a precedent? (provided that I get the trademark approved).

    And what about domains? Is this now going to be an easy way for people to snatch a domain name away from an investor?

    Man, if we could only do this with physical real estate….. Hey, you’re not doing anything with that high traffic corner lot……….

    Reply
  • Donna Mahony April 11, 2016, 6:44 pm

    Dirty, Dirty, Dirty!

    Reply
  • Ichthyologist April 11, 2016, 9:32 pm

    You’re a smart man Morgan. Surely you’re aware that even in the context this post was written, it spreads the word on how to conduct this shitty behaviour. Do better.

    Reply

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