According to the New York Times, Twitter is considering auctioning off usernames to generate new revenue after Elon Musk’s $44 billion takeover, with a demand for so-called “OG” user names.
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According to reports, Twitter is considering ways to generate new revenue by auctioning off user names.
The idea of a user name auction has been discussed internally at Twitter since at least December, the New York Times reported on Wednesday, citing two people with knowledge of the situation.
Elon Musk, the company’s new owner, has been constantly looking for new revenue opportunities since acquiring Twitter for $44 billion in October. One such idea is his revised plan for the Twitter Blue membership service.
Musk took on $13 billion in debt as part of the transaction, raising the need to increase cash flow for debt service. As a result, Twitter’s yearly interest expenses have increased from approximately $50 million to nearly $1 billion.
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However, Musk said last month that Twitter is “no more in the fast lane to bankruptcy” after cutting costs there, notably by firing more than half of the workforce.
It’s not clear if the idea to put user names up for auction would apply to all user names or just those that aren’t claimed or otherwise active.
After Musk’s takeover, Twitter appears to have dissolved its PR division. The company did not immediately reply to a request for comment.
Inactive Twitter accounts should be deleted, according to prior statements made by Musk. This may possibly free up 1.5 billion user names.
User names on Twitter are denoted by the @ sign followed by a string of letters or numbers.
Most likely, only user names that reference well-known people or companies would sell for a high amount at auction.
There is also a demand for so-called “OG” user names, which are composed of a single letter or number, a brief word, or both.
Twitter unveiled a new feature on Wednesday that was modelled after rival TikTok and gives tweets promoted by an algorithm more prominence.
When opening the app, iOS users of Twitter will immediately be directed to a new tab on the homepage named “For You.”
For You, a TikTok feature with the same name, displays tweets from users’ followed and unfollowed accounts in random order with algorithmic boosts.
Users of Twitter on iOS can now slide their phone screen to switch between the For You page and the “Following” one.
ByteDance, a Chinese company, owns the immensely popular video-sharing app TikTok, which competes with Twitter.
Users of TikTok are met with the For You feed, a stream of suggested videos, when they first launch the app.
An algorithm powers For You, which generates individualised suggestions based on a variety of factors, such as viewing habits and interactions with videos.
The algorithmic feed of tweets that Twitter uses as the default view for iOS users now goes by the name “For You.”
Tweets from accounts users follow are displayed in reverse chronological order under the “Following” page, with the most recent tweets at the top.
Previously, both of these tab options were accessible under other names, but users had to select a star from the app’s corner.