Since the Twitter username (or handle, as it is known) is used frequently in communication, it is an important tool for branding; as important as a domain name, or a Facebook page name. Anyone who squatted the big usernames initially (such as @Microsoft or @Google) was probably paid dearly, or made to.
In contrast to the trend of long handles that encompass the brand or message (@OmenadNet, @StartupJobsNY) short Twitter handles are also of value. Whether it be the SEO friendliness, preservation of space in tweets (which was my main concern), or just the coolness factor, short handles are in demand.
In fact, there was some talk and analysis about them a few years ago, and one person even made a website called Little Twit (which unfortunately is no longer there) just to look up short Twitter handles. I wanted a short handle, and I didn’t care what it was since my preferred names (@RajaDain, @Tuhinanshu, @Tuhin, @Terence) were all taken. The sad part is that all but the very last of those are obviously blank accounts, with either 0 or 1 tweet, and a similar number of followers. The last is hidden, so I cannot see the tweets. However, since he has only 3 followers, it is possible that the account is blank / unused as well. Even if we give @Terence the benefit of the doubt, the other three are, to my utter annoyance, wasted.
While I have requested (repeatedly) Twitter to suspend one of those accounts and give me access, I have not received an affirmative response so far. Eager to start tweeting, however, I decided to create a simple PHP script to find the shortest alphanumeric handle I could find. The script is given below:
We simply query each twitter handle in the format of a99, where a is any letter from a–z, and 9 is any numeral from 0–9. I found a couple of options (which nicely highlight in red, as opposed to the grey duds), but they were unavailable to register. The first I found was @G64, and that’s what I have now. Follow me if you will!
My research for this did reveal some interesting discussions. I’ve linked most in the relevant sections of this post, but am including them here (with description) if you missed any:
- Want A Short Twitter Screen Name? Not a Chance! by @StevenBullen
- 109 Five Letter Twitter Usernames not Taken! by @StevenBullen
- Short Twitter Names by Twitter Facts
- Find Out if a Twitter Name Exists Using PHP / JSON by systemBash and @ddrager
The original post can be found here: https://anterence.blogspot.com/2011/05/finding-short-twitter-handles-usernames.html