After Twitter rebranding, Elon Musk takes @X handle from user; offers merch in return

The coveted @X username was taken over by Elon Musk owner X (formerly Twitter), a report has revealed. The user was offered merchandise and a meeting with the company’s management in return.

| Updated on: Jul 28 2023, 09:46 IST
Single-letter usernames such as @X are considered extremely valuable and are often sold for thousands of dollars. (Bloomberg)
Single-letter usernames such as @X are considered extremely valuable and are often sold for thousands of dollars. (Bloomberg)

Ever since its rebranding, X (formerly known as Twitter) appears to be caught in new controversies every day. After headlines reported on authorities putting a temporary halt to the removal of the Twitter logo from the company headquarters in San Francisco, now a new controversy has engulfed the Elon Musk-owned platform. A user, who held possession of the coveted @x username, has reported that it was taken from him by the company, and he was only offered some merchandise and a tour of the company along with a meeting with the management.

According to a report by Telegraph, the account belonged to Gene X Hwang, a San Francisco-based photographer, who joined the social media site in 2007 and was among one of the earliest users. Ever since registering for the platform, he has kept his username as @X, which is now also the company name. On Tuesday night, he received an email that informed him that the handle was being taken. Just hours later, the handle became the new official account for communication around the platform, while the previously active Twitter Support account was deleted.

Hwang's account is set to private so any tweets made by him could not be independently verified by us, however, the Telegraph reported that he was willing to entertain the idea of selling his username. Single-letter usernames are some of the most in-demand handles on X. In the past, they have sold for thousands of dollars. For example, the report mentions that a user who owns the @n handle said that they were offered $50,000 to sell their account.

However, that did not happen to Hwang. “They just took it essentially – kinda what I thought might happen…They did send an email saying it is the property of ‘x' essentially…I would sell if approached I think. Guess it depends on the offer,” he said. While Hwang was offered some X merchandise and a visit to the company HQ and a meeting with the management, financial incentives were not given.

Original owner of @X gets a new account

Despite losing out on the precious account, Hwang was allowed to make a new account and retain carry all the data from his previous account to the new one, along with all his followers. Before the company rebranded itself, Hwang had about 30,000 followers. However, after the incident, his follower count is at around 67,000. Tweeting from his new account @x12345678998765, he said, “All's well that ends well”.

Follow HT Tech for the latest tech news and reviews , also keep up with us on Whatsapp channel,Twitter, Facebook, Google News, and Instagram. For our latest videos, subscribe to our YouTube channel.

First Published Date: 28 Jul, 08:56 IST