So You Want to Change Your Twitter Name

Twitter is a lot of fun. We’ll admit to using Twitter for both work and pleasure. Of course, if you started off just using Twitter  for fun and want to start using it for business purposes, you may find yourself wishing you’d picked a username that didn’t refer to alcohol, partying, TV, or some cutesy nickname given to you by your ex. Sounds like you need to change your identity.

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Change Your Twitter Identity

Twitter makes it really easy to change your identity. You just click on Settings and change whatever is written in the username field. You get to keep all of your tweets, your followers, the people you’re following, your favorites, your DMs… But wait! When you change your name, your old Twitter URL ceases to exist. Anyone who clicks on your old username will now get an error page. If people are sorting through their new follower emails, they won’t be able to follow you back from the link in the email.

Make Sure People Can Find You

Our fearless leader went through an identity crisis made the username switch at the beginning of the year. There’s a really easy way to make sure people can still find you after you’ve switched user names – re-register your original name.

This should be done promptly to avoid having someone else scoop up your old username out from under you. As a matter of fact, you should re-register your old name immediately after changing your username – before you announce your name change to anyone. This may not be a big deal if you’re not using a well-known or much sought-after name, but it’s better to be safe than sorry! You don’t want any imposters to scoop up your name and capitalize on people’s inability to recognize that it’s not really you tweeting there anymore.

You’ll need another email address for this, of course. Every Twitter account must have a unique email address. If you have to, register a new free account with Gmail or Yahoo for this sole purpose.

How to do this properly:

  1. Determine which new email address you want to use for your “new” Twitter account.
  2. Visit Twitter settings to change your old username to your new username.
  3. Log out and create your “new” account using your old username.
  4. Set up the “new” account containing the same information as your existing Twitter account: name, location, Web, bio, and picture. You may, of course, tweak information that is  no longer accurate if you’ve changed jobs or something.
  5. Tweet from your “new” account with a link to the profile with your new name. This will direct anyone who happens to find you through your original Twitter name to your new tweetstream.

Want an example? Watch how @QualityGal transformed into @ChristinaGayle.

Do you have a Twitter identity change success story? Have we missed any tips for making the change easier for you and your followers?  Let us know!

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Jack Leblond July 1, 2009 at 5:47 pm

I went through this a while ago when I changed from @web_guy to @JackLeblond – so glad I did. I also created a few common miss-spellings of my name and sent one tweet with each directing visitors to the proper place. Of course the stupids bots still follow them.

Kate April 5, 2013 at 10:35 am

Jack, Did you old tweets still have the old name on them or the new one?

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