Q. I saw that you changed your Twitter ID and I want to change mine too. I want a different Twitter ID but I don’t want to start a new account from scratch, it’s too hard to get followers. Can you tell me how you did it? Did you lose Twitter followers? I’ve been wanting to change my Twitter ID but I’m afraid it will be really confusing to people.
A. I can understand why people want to change their Twitter ID’s. It’s easy to go wrong when you first choose a Twitter ID. Few people truly understand Twitter when they join, so they choose a name that isn’t a good fit. People can go wrong by choosing a silly name, a name that’s too long (you only have 140 characters for a tweet, so a shorter ID is better), a personal name that gets changed, or a personal account that gets changed into a business account.
Earlier this year, I decided to change my Twitter ID from @carpathia16 to @wonderoftech, since I use Twitter mostly to tweet about technology and blogging. Others had strongly suggested that I do this after I started this blog, but I didn’t want to lose any followers, so I resisted making this change for a while. In February I read Kris Olin’s blog post How To Change Your Twitter Username Handle And Rebrand Your Account which convinced me to go ahead and change my Twitter ID.
Once I took the plunge, I didn’t lose any followers. In fact, I increased the number of followers, showing it was a good move that I should have done earlier. I have kept the @carpathia16 ID for later when I might use it for more personal tweets.
Switching the names was easier than I thought it would be. Accounts I had linked to my @carpathia16 ID, such as HootSuite and Buffer, were automatically switched to @wonderoftech without me having to make any changes.
How To Do It
First, make sure the Twitter ID you want to use is available. Sign up for a new account with the ID you want to use (don’t worry, you can delete this account later). Second, follow this step-by-step guide from Twitter to switch names: Username is in use by another Twitter account that you own.
What Not To Do
If you already have a second Twitter account with an ID you want to use, don’t cancel that account to free up the ID. Canceling the account doesn’t make that ID available for a while, which will delay the switch. Also, you may miss the name eventually becoming available, potentially allowing someone else to grab it before you do.
Spread the News
After you make the change, spread the word by tweeting it repeatedly and change your Twitter profile to say that your account was “formerly @WorstTwitterNameEver”. You should also spread the news on Facebook, Google+ and any other social media sites where you are active.
To avoid confusion, I purposely haven’t posted from @carpathia16 since I made the switch. I tweeted out the change repeatedly when it took place and monitored the @carpathia16 account to see if people were still using that name. I gently reminded people about the switch when they used @carpathia16 instead of @wonderoftech, but that only was needed for a few days (my Twitter followers are exceptionally brilliant!).
If you’re not happy with your Twitter ID, don’t worry, you can change it. No need to be stuck with a name that isn’t a good fit. Don’t start over with a new account, just change your Twitter ID to one that works for you. In a short your followers should catch on and adjust to your new ID.
Have you ever considered changing your Twitter ID? Are you happy with the Twitter ID you have? Have you ever changed your Twitter ID? Let us know in the Comments section below!
Many of the comments have been from people wanting to change their Twitter names to a name that was already taken. If a Twitter name is taken, but the account is inactive, all is not lost. You may want to consider switching to it if it becomes available. Check out this article explaining How to Secure an Unused Twitter Account. You may be able to grab that Twitter ID you covet!
A Bit of Twitter Fun!
If you’ve ever wanted to analyze your Twitter account, you can do it easily and for free with a fun infographic. Adrienne Smith recently had a blog post about how to create your own Twitter infographic and I wanted to share with you how to do this.
You can share your Twitter infographic with others with a link you can use in a tweet, email, Facebook or other places.
Here is mine:
For some reason the middle section doesn’t provide information for my Twitter account, but I checked it with other Twitter accounts and it seems to work just fine.
You can also compare your Twitter account with others to see how you stack up. Check Faceoff and enter your Twitter ID and the ID of the person you want to compare your You can also have a Twitter Faceoff with a random celebrity by leaving the other Twitter ID blank. Here are links to Me vs. Random Celebrity and Me vs. Justin Beiber.
Have you created a Twitter infographic? Have you compared your Twitter account to a random celebrity? To Justin Bieber? Let us know and leave a link (if you dare) in the Comments section below!
*Birds image (altered) by Mark Morgan.