For most users who download the Twitter app, the first username is more of an experiment than a permanent handle. However, as a business or a brand, a Twitter handle can be an important part of the image one is trying to create in the online sphere. A twitter handle can put forth the idea behind the profile, and create a first impression for anyone who comes across it.

The twitter handle therefore should make sense based on what the twitter profile is about. Bearing this importance of a twitter handle in mind, ‘how to change twitter handle’ is an often searched term. While the steps to change it are simple, changing a twitter handle is not without consequences. 

What is a Twitter Handle?

A Twitter handle is a username that is visible at the end of a Twitter URL for a unique handle. The length of a twitter handle can be no more than 15 characters. It would look something like : 

Read : Why Twitter Decided to Stick to Brevity

It should be noted that a twitter handle is not the same as the Twitter name a user has. A twitter handle is prefixed with @ sign for a given profile URL, and it is unique to every Twitter account. 

A Twitter name, on the other hand, is more like a search term to help find the account a user maybe looking for. 

Choosing a unique Twitter handle that meets your goals can be a challenge since Twitter now has around 330 million active users every month. This is also the reason why many queries include questions like ‘can you change your twitter handle.” 

In an ideal scenario, the username would be consistent across all social media platforms. But doing this has become increasingly difficult, and so on Twitter, one would find many handles that are not, in fact, the actual name of the user or the brand. 

How To Change Twitter Handle 

While there are many old accounts on Twitter that have stuck to their original usernames, there are times when one might want to change it. In this regard, Twitter offers the option to change the username without losing any of the account activity. This can include old tweets and interactions with other Twitter users. Some scenarios where one might wonder how to change username in twitter include : 

  1. A significant rebranding of a business or personal brand
  2. A general change in industry trends that prompt an upheaval
  3. An outdated username that is no longer strategic, or has some errors 
  4. A username or handle that is inconsistent with other social media platforms for the same brand or user 

Steps to Make The Change 

Once it has been decided that the username/handle will be changed, it is fairly simple to transition into a new name on Twitter. 

Option 1 

One can update the twitter handle with an existing account through the account settings. 

  1. Log in to the Twitter account and click on your profile picture.
  2. Tap on Settings and privacy.
  3. Enter the new username in the field provided. 
  4. If the username is not in use by any other Twitter user, the word “Available!” appears.
  5. Saving the changes at this step confirms the new username.
  6. To update existing followers, one may simply tweet the change to inform all users about the change of name. 
twiiter username change
Settings and privacy Twitter

username change in twittter
username change twitter

Option 2

A twitter handle can also be changed by creating a new account, and then redirecting followers to the new account. 

This option is a little more complex and can cause some followers to drop. The steps to change a twitter handle through this method are as follows: 

  1. Create a new Twitter account with an easily available username. This new account hosts the old one once the transition has been made so the username doesn’t matter. 
  2. The user can then log out of the new account, and log back into the old one. 
  3. As is the case with the first option, tap on Settings and privacy.
  4. Here, the new desired handle (@NewUsername) needs to be added in the given field. 
  5. If the username is not in use by any other Twitter user, the word “Available!” appears.
  6. Save the changes.
  7. Log back into the account created in Step 1. 
  8. Tap on Settings and privacy. 
  9. Update the handle/username to the username of the old account (from Step 2.)  
  10. Using this account, one can tweet the change of name and pin it on the top. 
  11. Similarly, log into the new account and continue using twitter as usual with the new account and username. 

The Loopholes 

Twitter-verse carries some loopholes that should be kept in mind when making changes to a username. For example, despite changing the handle, any tweet or retweet that a user was mentioned in will still reflect the old username. These will no longer be linked to the said account. 

This leads to one-sided threads of tweets, as tweets from other participants disappear. This happens because the mentions in tweets are text-based. They are not dependent on unique IDs. Old tweets cannot change because of a change in the username. Any such links or threads will then lead to a 404 error page.

Read : Shut Up Already: Twitter Rolling Out New ‘Mute’ Feature

One way to skip this and protect a username is to create a new account with a different email address under the old twitter name. This twitter profile will not automatically get updated with old tweets or mentions. However, it will link back to the second account. Here, one can redirect all users to the new twitter handle and continue as usual. 

These are the two most effective methods on how to change twitter handle. Keeping things consistent is important, so after changing the twitter handle, one must update it across all social media platforms.

This includes updating the new handle on all personal profiles, email signatures, resumes, social media pages, websites, and other promotional banners.

While changing a twitter handle is not a tough task, there can be a bit of mess that gets left behind. A consistent twitter handle that reflects the brand or business should therefore be well-considered and carefully thought out.