Through your username on Twitter, the name with the tail in front, others can tag you. Can you still change that username? Hell yes.
Your organization once chose a username, but maybe that wasn’t the best possible name. A name that deviates too far from the real organization name, for example. Or maybe the organization has changed its name in the meantime.
All reasons to change your username. That’s important, especially when others want to mention (tag) you in a tweet.
Can’t click through
It would be a shame if Twitter is about you, but you don’t know that because people didn’t find your username right away. Moreover, the readers will not be able to click through to your account.
Another drawback: if others find your illogical username and mention it in their tweet, many readers will not immediately link to your organization.
Changing that username is very easy. Just go to your settings and enter a new name in the Username field. Twitter first checks if that name is available. If that is the case, you immediately have a new username.
And what about your followers? You just keep it.
The only thing that can be annoying is that people can no longer click through to your account in tweets in which your old username appears. But Twitter is such a fast and real-time medium that old tweets quickly disappear into oblivion.
Twitter name clears up
You can also change your Twitter name. That’s the name that appears on your Twitter profile, above your username.
This usually contains the full name of your organization. With a somewhat unclear username, the Twitter name clarifies. At best, Twitter name and username are the same.
change Twitter name
You should only change that Twitter name if it does not clarify the username sufficiently. The Twitter name has no direct influence on the tagging of your account.
How do you change the Twitter name? Simple: by going to your Twitter profile. On the right, you will see a button Edit profile. Choose a different name (Twitter doesn’t have to check availability there) and you’re done.
Switching from Twitter name 1 to twitter name 2: a step-by-step plan
Just to be clear, this is the case where you have claimed two twitter names and you want to change one to the other.
Important to know: you cannot take your followers with you. You are not going to merge the accounts, you are just changing the name of account 2 to the name of account 1. To transfer the followers, it is best to announce what you are going to do well in advance and ask your followers to follow you elsewhere. Here you will find some good tips. For other social media apps, you can sometimes merge them, including followers. See an overview here.
The step-by-step plan below revolves around:
- Account 1: a Twitter account that belongs to you, but whose name you want to transfer to account 2
- Account 2: a Twitter account that belongs to you, but whose name you want to change to account 1
Step 1. Make a choice: delete or change?
You can do two things to make the name of your first Twitter account available for the other Twitter account:
- Delete the entire Twitter account.
- Rename your old Twitter account (recommended)
You can always delete, right? Changing the name of your old Twitter account to something else will free up the old name. You can then claim it for your other Twitter account.
Don’t tell anyone what you’re going to do In the process, your old Twitter name will become available once you delete the old account or change the Twitter name. Maybe it doesn’t matter. But beautiful twitter names are precious. So don’t tell anyone what you’re going to do. Better safe than sorry!
Backup Twitter Account 1 This is really only important if you are going to delete the account.
Twitter saves all your tweets. You can download that here:
- Go to Settings & privacy
- (bottom) Your Twitter archive
- You get all your tweets in a (zip) CSV file. You can easily change this into a readable overview in Excel by selecting the first column and choosing ‘text to columns.
Step 4. Set everything to ‘private’
If you don’t want to use account 1 anymore and don’t want people to be able to find and follow you on that account, it’s best to set it to ‘private’.
- Profile & settings
- Settings & privacy
- Click the checkmark under Tweet privacy ‘protect your tweets’
- Uncheck the boxes under ‘Discoverability’ – this way you can no longer be found at your email address.
Step 5. Rename Twitter Account 1
This step is simple but important. Stay in settings & privacy and go to account. At the top, in the account name field, change the existing name to something else. As you type, Twitter will let you know if the name is available.
Don’t forget to click on ‘save changes.
Doing this releases the ‘old’ name. You can now take the last step. Preferably as soon as possible of course! As mentioned, the old Twitter name has now become available. Anyone who claims it at that time can capture it. But don’t worry about that, because you quickly move on to step 6!
Step 6. Rename Twitter Account 2
Log out and log back into the account whose name you want to change, Twitter account 2. Do the same as in step 5: change the name via settings > account. But this time you choose the old name of your account1 because it has now become available.
Click on save changes… and you’re done.
Step 7. Tell your Twitter friends
It might be helpful to let people know you’ve done this. Twitterers are sharp and see things. So you might as well just yell at them. You can immediately test if it works.
Step 8: Change references to your Twitter name
Maybe like me, you have references to your old Twitter name everywhere, for example:
- on your website
- in your LinkedIn profile
- on your business card
- in your email signature
Handy to adjust. The old name will do and if people look up your old name, you should still be easy to find. But for the sake of certainty and completeness, it is better to adjust those references.
It’s actually that easy. The good thing is that everything else stays the same if you change your Twitter name.
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