Username Taken? Alternatives to the Dreaded “1” at the End

Recently I fell in love with an Irish folk band called The Gloaming. I later found their Twitter profile, and quietly cringed when I saw their handle: @TheGloaming1

@TheGloaming1 Twitter screenshot
@thegloaming is already taken by a Taiwanese lady who tweeted three times in 2011, never to tweet again (as I type this). Claiming inactive Twitter accounts is a whole other kettle of fish that I won’t be covering today – that’s not the purpose of this post. What I wanted to talk about instead is what The Gloaming could’ve done instead of simply sticking a “1” at the end of their username, which looks really, really outdated and technologically naïve…

If you have a business/startup name that’s already been taken on Twitter (or perhaps the .com TLD as well/instead) and you don’t fit the criteria of Twitter’s inactive account policy to claim it, hopefully some of these suggestions will help you out.

Alternatives to “TheGloaming1”

“TheGloaming” is 11 characters long (without quotes), and Twitter’s username character limit is 15 characters. So they have an extra 4 characters to play around with. They could consider dropping the “The” and/or chopping part of it (e.g. “TheGloaminMusic” is 15 characters, but removing the “g” at the end of “Gloaming” looks naff IMO), but I think it’d look best if they keep the “TheGloaming” element pretty much untouched and simply add words/initials around it. Such as:

  • Reference of band/music – e.g. @TheGloamingBand
  • Genre – e.g. @TheGloamingFolk
  • Country (initials) – e.g. @TheGloamingIE

Annoyingly @The_Gloaming is also already taken, because that was going to be another suggestion: utilising the underscore. My personal preference is not to use it, but it is a potential option if the non-underscore option is taken. I’ve seen some brands put an underscore at the start or end (e.g. @_TheGloaming or @TheGloaming_) – I don’t like the look of it personally, but it could be an option if you’re struggling…

I was considering suggesting the year of formation (e.g. @TheGloaming2011) as well, but to be honest, as soon as 2012 would’ve hit, it would’ve made them look obsolete. So watch out for using years in handles for that reason.

Other alternatives (for shorter band & brand names)

“TheGloaming” is quite long, but if your band (or brand) name is shorter then you have a fair bit more wiggle room within the 15 character limit.

For businesses:

  • WeAreBrand / ThisIsBrand
  • BrandDotCom
  • BrandTweets
  • 2Word_Brand (i.e. 1stword_2ndword instead of 1stword2ndword)

And additional ones for bands/musicians:

  • BandMusic
  • BandSongs
  • BandSounds

There are also some great examples (including real-life examples) listed here, here and here. Fill your boots! 🙂 You might find that the examples above might not ‘work’ with your branding, but another example might. Good luck!

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