Will Twitter names and accounts become commodities?

It used to be that good domains sold for a premium. Now, with celebrities getting on the Twitter bandwagon, they’re getting much attention from us lesser mortals. @aplusk, for instance (which is Ashton Kutcher) has broken the 1 Million follower mark. Other celebrities, have significant followings, too, such as @oprah with 500 thousand plus, and even @mrskutcher, with 700 thousand plus.

Arguably, the number of followers is not as significant as the quality. But then again, this only goes to show that on Twitter, branding would come in important at one time or another. And this means that like domains, Twitter usernames or accounts are probably going to be the next big commodity for domainers to buy, hoard, and potentially sell later on.

Good .COM domains sell for top dollar. Sure, regular ones sell for a little over six bucks, but premium ones can go for millions, like business.com, sex.com, casino.com, and other short, identifiable domains. Big blogs have been known to be sold for hundreds of thousands of dollars.

How about Twitter names? Will twitter name squatting be an issue? Twitter’s terms of service does stipulate that they reserve the right to reclaim usernames on behalf of businesses or individuals that hold legal claim or trademark on those usernames.

How about Twitter accounts? Can you build up a good Twitter stream and then sell it after a few months or years? Or will microblogging lose its magic now that it’s no longer a niche thing, but something mainstream?

15 thoughts on “Will Twitter names and accounts become commodities?

  1. I actually found one person who is buying and selling popular twitter accounts, so it’s happening already.

  2. While I don’t see Twitter as a trend that will pass quickly, I don’t foresee squatting to be an issue. That being the case though, if you can’t get your business name, then you will really need to keep an eye on whoever does have it to make sure they are not affecting it in any matter.

    One thing I can see happening though is Twitter becoming a lucrative business. While not with squatting per-se, I think people will set up profiles and amass large amounts of followers and then sell off the accounts.

  3. A commodity is something for which there is demand, but which is supplied without qualitative differentiation across a market. It is a product that is the same no matter who produces it, such as petroleum, notebook paper, or milk.

    By definition, neither domain names nor Twitter handles can be commodities, since it’s their differentiating factors that make them valuable.

    Just saying.

  4. It doesn’t matter what twitter does and doesn’t allow. I don’t think they’d have any control over it. Sure maybe they’d catch couple people but most of them would easily get under the radar.

  5. Even with a high number of followers I do believe that twitter accounts will not sell for the fact that most twitter users will follow tweets. Given the fact that Ashton Kutcher sells his account to a mortgage company, how will his followers react when all his tweets is all about selling houses.

  6. In the field of marketing or promoting. Anything that ranks, get more traffic or have lots of friends or followers can be for SALE! It doesn’t mean that twitter will sell it to us but those people who are making such accounts are going to sell it and that very moment he/she gets the account or owns it.

  7. I hope that this will not happen. I like the idea of domains being worth money but not a twitter username. And twitter should not allow this. Just my two cents

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