Plenty of Twitter users experience the frustration of not being able to access a username (perhaps even their own name) because it is being held by an inactive account. Not having a simple username that’s close your actual name can make growing your social media presence harder than it has to be. Sometimes, it’s possible to reach out to the account with that username and ask for it. Other times, that account has been inactive for nine years and Twitter won’t do anything about it. Yes, that’s a true story.
Now, Twitter is realizing that this is becoming a growing issue. Starting in December, inactive accounts will be removed after getting a warning email stating that they need to login.
As soon as today, Twitter will begin sending out emails to anyone who owns an inactive account on the platform. It states that they will need to sign in before December 11 or the account will be permanently deleted. Of course, once that happens, the username associated with it becomes available for anyone to take.
Twitter states that anyone who hasn’t signed in for over six months will be subject to the new policy.
A company spokesperson said, “As part of our commitment to serve the public conversation, we’re working to clean up inactive accounts to present more accurate, credible information people can trust across Twitter. Part of this effort is encouraging people to actively log-in and use Twitter when they register an account.”
Unfortunately for those hoping to nab a newly freed username, there won’t be a mass deletion of accounts. Rather, the process will happen over several months. This means that you’ll still need to login periodically and check to see if the username you want is available.
Unfortunately, the move has a downside. The policy, as written, will also deactivate the accounts of Twitter users who have passed away. For family members and friends that cherish those Tweets as memories of their loved one, this is a major issue. As of now, there isn’t a way to memorialize an account like there is on Facebook.
Unsurprisingly, this has triggered a wave of concerned users reaching out to Twitter Support regarding the issue. In response, the company said that it has a team thinking of a way to memorialize accounts. Hopefully that will occur before the deletions begin on December 11.
Considering Twitter’s notoriously slow pace of making changes to the platform, there is no guarantee. However, it would be a bad move to start deleting the Twitter accounts of deceased loved ones.
Nonetheless, the change is long overdue. For those hoping to get their desired username back from an inactive account, the wait is almost over. Finally.