Elon Musk is at it again, making news headlines across the world again for his purported plan to delete 1.5 billion Twitter accounts. But don’t worry, the accounts expected to be deleted won’t just be random accounts. Rather, Twitter is expected to delete inactive accounts that will dissociate 1.5 billion handles, or usernames, from accounts and potentially let new users create Twitter accounts with attractive usernames.
The science and other stuff to know
Twitter is the world’s leading microblogging site, and its 2022 Q2 report said the platform had 237.8 million monetizable daily active usage (mDAU). Twitter defines mDAU as the accounts of people, organizations, or other accounts who logged in or were otherwise authenticated and accessed Twitter on any given day through twitter.com, thus enabling the Twitter applications to show ads, or paid Twitter products.
In the second quarter of 2022, Twitter counted 237.8 million of its users as “monetizable daily active users,” a measure that suggests they’re active on the platform and are being shown advertisements.
In a tweet on December 9, Musk said Twitter “will soon start freeing the name space of 1.5 billion accounts”, adding in a subsequent tweet that “these are obvious because they had no tweets and no log in for years”.
This might be good news for some. According to Insider, some Twitter users complain that many desirable Twitter handles had been taken up in the early days of the social media platform being launched, but were no longer active.
While it is unclear how long an account must be idle before Twitter may consider terminating it, Musk previously warned that accounts that have been inactive for more than 15 years may be deleted. He did, however, agree with a user tweet suggesting that accounts that had been inactive for a year be given a 30-day deadline to log in or be deleted.
Musk, the tech billionaire behind Tesla and SpaceX, took over Twitter late in October 2022, and it has been a roller coaster ride for the social media giant ever since. There have been alleged public firing of top talent, sacking of thousands of other employees, payment for account verification, reinstatement of former U.S. President Donald Trump’s account, and public figures expressing discontent with Musk’s way of handling things.
Musk has promised to make key changes at Twitter, and he seems intent on sticking to his plans. But he also wants Twitter to make money, and for that, he is looking to grow active users. Caving into a persistent demand from users for attractive handles might just do the trick, even if for a short while.
To be fair, Twitter, which once used to be the top resource for sharing happenings and occurrences across the globe, has itself become “news” ever since its takeover by the South African billionaire. There is a constant flurry of information that keeps turning up about Twitter, and it might be a little too much dynamism for stakeholders to handle.
For Musk, sensationalism has worked well. He is a public figure who likes to speak his mind regardless of what it leads to. It has brought him great fruits so far, which he must be hoping for again while planning to execute his plans of deleting inactive accounts.