Twitter has been around since 2006. It was founded by Jack Dorsey, Noah Glass, Evan Williams and Biz Stone in San Francisco after a prolonged board meeting at a directory website called Odeo. The first tweet ever created was when Dorsey wrote ‘Just setting up my Twttr‘ on March 21, 2006. With the impact of the Obvious Corporation Twitter became a proper company in April 2007, and the rest is history.
I joined up in 2008 and since then I have created several Twitter accounts for different online and offline business entities.
If you are wondering how old your Twitter account is, here’s a handy little tool that will tell you all sorts of interesting things about your account http://tweet.grader.com
For instance you can see from my report that I have been using the Social Media Revolver Twitter account since June 2009. That is not actually the case as I didn’t even have Social Media Revolver back then. What we are looking at is the data from a Twitter username, or handle that used to be called SocialMediaAds. I just changed it to SocialMediaRvl a little while ago, and now I’m going to explain how you can do that too.
If you were one of the early adopters of Twitter then your account might not reflect the true nature of your business any more. Your Twitter handle might not be as suitable or as cool as you’d want it to be; and you might find yourself hoping that you could change it for something better.
Well, you’re in luck, as now you can do just that; and even without losing any of your valued followers! Just follow these two simple steps and you’re all set.
How To Change Your Twitter Handle (Username) Without Losing Any Followers
I did this operation just a few weeks ago as I was re-branding my blog and I needed to change my Twitter handle as well. Actually, I had two choices; either create a brand new Twitter account with zero followers and start from the scratch, or use one of my existing accounts and just re-brand it to fit the new purpose. Luckily I had a suitable account available so I chose the second option.
Ok, if you’re thinking of changing your Twitter username too, here’s what you need to do. Log in to your Twitter account first.
Step 1 – Change Your Twitter Account Username
Click the top right hand corner of your account and go to Settings > Account. You should see a page something like this:
Write your new preferred username in the Username -box. As you type Twitter will tell you whether this name is available or not. Bearing in mind that you can only use 15 characters on this, and there are already about 500 million Twitter users you might not get the exact name you’d like. If that happens give it a go with some variations until you find a Twitter handle that is not registered yet. If it suits your new profile grab it as it might not be available for long!
While you’re there you might want to change your contact email address as well. For instance if you are using a different domain name with this re-branded Twitter account it would be useful to update the email as well. Twitter will send you a confirmation email if you decide to do the change.
Click the Save changes -button.
Step 2 – Change Your Twitter Profile Name
Click the Profile -link on the left hand side menu and you will get a new panel with your account profile details on it.
Here you should change a few things. First, change your Twitter profile name. You can choose any name you like as long as it fits into 20 characters. Your new profile name should, however, reflect your new Twitter username. I’m not sure if you can see it in the image but I had to put the words ‘Social’ and ‘Media’ together as I was one character over the limit.
Next you probably should have a critical look at your old profile picture. Is it still valid after all these years? If not, then go ahead and upload a new one.
If you also have a new domain name, like I did you should make the change in Web -box as well.
Finally, have a look at your Bio details. If they are out dated as suspected, go ahead and update.
Click the Save changes -button and you’re done!
Congratulations! You have now successfully changed your Twitter username and re-branded your account.
If you were using a custom Twitter background you might want to update that as well. Creating a custom Twitter background is a great way of branding your account and as such is a topic for a separate blog post a bit later. Subscribe to RSS feed and stay tuned for that one!
Remember that once you change your Twitter username you can’t log in to your account with the old name anymore. Also, if you have been using Twitter tools such as TweetDeck, Buffer or similar services you need to update the info there as well.
Kim Castleberry recommends in her fine article about this same topic that once you have done this change over you should re-register the old Twitter handle back. This is actually a good idea; you know, just to keep it away from your competitors and such.
If you decide to use one of your old Twitter accounts for a new purpose, like I did, please make sure that your target audience on that old account is similar to your new re-branded account.
As mentioned earlier, I changed an account called @SocialMediaAds to @SocialMediaRvl. I had been using the old Twitter handle with a website which was about social media advertising. As the two audience profiles were quite close to each other I managed to pull it off with flying colours and didn’t lose any followers. In fact, I have been gaining quite a few since the change.
Have you changed your Twitter username handle lately? Let us know how it went. Or, if you are currently planning to do so, throw us a comment if you have any questions.