@State_ofsearch is now @Stateofsearch: How To Get That Twitter Account You Always Wanted

Ever since the start of the website about two years ago we have had one thing which was a bit annoying: we didn’t ‘have’ the @stateofsearch Twitter account. That account was taken by an Italian artist who lived in Dublin. We tried contacting her in different ways to try and take the Twitter account of her hands. After all, she had not used the Twitter account since she claimed it in 2009. There was only one tweet on it. We never got in touch with her and were therefor “forced” to use the Twitter account @state_ofsearch, so with the underscore.

We have ‘lived’ like that for two years. Until today. As of today we now own the Twitter account @stateofsearch. All followers of @state_ofsearch have been ‘moved’ to @stateofsearch, so if you were following us already: don’t worry, you will still see the same updates, you only have to keep an eye on the @replies you do towards us, but we’ll keep monitoring that, also because we also own @state_ofsearch. And if you are not following us: what? Do it right now!

The process of getting the Twitter account seems long, in fact it turned out to be quite easy. Within 10 days everything was fixed. Let me explain how I got the account, without actually getting in touch with the account owner.

Step 1: Check if the original owner can be reached

The first step is to check if you can take the account from the original owner, that probably is the fastest way.

Step 2: Check if the account being used

Important here is whether or not the owner is actually using the Twitter account. If they are you will hardly stand a chance with Twitter, if they are not, you might have a good shot at getting it if the owner won’t give it to you or can’t be reached.

Twitter’s Terms of Service are clear on this: “To keep your account active, be sure to log in and Tweet (i.e., post an update) within 6 months of your last update. Accounts may be permanently removed due to prolonged inactivity.”

Step 3: Submit an Impersonation Claim

The next step is going to Twitter and getting in touch with them. They have a special form you can fill in to “Report an account for impersonation“. Here I chose the option “I am being impersonated.” You then get a form which you have to fill in with as much detail as you can.

Very important here is the “About the impersonating account“-part. Here you have to fill in how this account is an impersonation. Make sure you explain as much as possible, the fact for example that the account had not been used in a few years was important here, as well as the fact that we had the actual url to go with it. I also added “A lot of @replies to us are sent to them”, to give it some extra ‘schwung’.

Within a few minutes I received a auto-confirmation e-mail from Twitter that they would go and look at the claim.

Step 4: When the claim is acknowledged: connect to your account

After 8 days I received an e-mail saying that Twitter was able to release the username for me. They asked me to create a Twitter account or if I already had a Twitter account to reply to the e-mail so they could connect it.

I replied back that the account could be connected to @state_ofsearch.

Two days later (late yesterday afternoon) I received an e-mail that the transition was done: @state_ofsearch was now @stateofsearch

Step 5: Claim your ‘old’ Twitter account

One thing you then should not forget doing is to claim your “old” account, in my case @state_ofsearch. That after all was released when the username was transitioned. I claimed that right away to make sure nobody else would who could then mis-use it for something. I made sure that Twitter bio points at the new account. After all, there might be other sites on the web pointing at this Twitter account as being ours, we don’t want to lose those followers!

Step 6: Change your own references to the account

On our own properties we have many links pointing to our Twitter account. We now have to change all those references on the site.

Thats it. So from now on: (re)-tweet @stateofsearch!

Bas van den Beld

About Bas van den Beld

Bas van den Beld is an award winning Digital Marketing consultant, trainer and speaker. He is the founder of State of Digital and helps companies develop solid marketing strategies.

12 thoughts on “@State_ofsearch is now @Stateofsearch: How To Get That Twitter Account You Always Wanted

  1. Finally a site that listens to impersonation requests! I did one on YouTube some time ago for one of my sites and I never heard anything back. I submitted a further 2 times and still didn’t get a response. I was quite disappointed at the lack of care given by YouTube.

    1. @andy – youtube won’t do zilch unless you waive a trademark certificate under their nose. then you can get stuff zapped in hours including names. The only other way is to doggedly pursue the holder. If you can deduce their domain name, and it expires and you dropcatch it, you can regenerate a YT password request to get it if you’re *really* keen. Twitter use more discretion, you have to be a super-nag, but it can pay off!

  2. What if it is for a personal account with someone of the same name who hasn’t used it for years? There’s technically no impersonation but still goes against twitter’s TOS by not being active on the account. However, twitter will not delete the account based on that fact alone, which is a shame

  3. I also forgot to add to the above – Google will takes AGES to realise the update. Search for “alex moss twitter” and you’ll see that my old username, alexmossSEO, ranks above my current username, alexmoss, despite the old account being inactive for 9 months and having only one tweet directing people to my current username

  4. Great guide, my personal twitter account is full of numbers and underscores because I have such common name and initials, I’m not convinced that Twitter will accept my impersonation claim, its pretty unlikely that anyone will want to impersonate me!

  5. I’ve been trying to get them to let me have @steveg for 2 years now. They just keep telling me too bad. I have the long form of my name, but rarely use it, and I have my old old hacker tag name that I stopped using a long time ago.. Maybe that is what isn’t helping me..

  6. Some people used to use this tactic to claim other high profile business names that were not being used. It was my understanding that it is a lot more difficult to do now. Did you have to submit the claim under an email from the same domain? I was just curious what steps Twitter has put into place to prevent false impersonation claims.

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