One month after Elon Musk took over Twitter in October of 2022, the platform had lost nearly half of its largest advertisers because of the turbulent takeover by the billionaire.
Musk’s efforts to “free the bird” meant the return of many previously blocked accounts and a skyrocketing of controversial posts that drove away companies like Chevrolet, Ford, and Chipotle.
Prior to the takeover, 92% of Twitter’s revenue was derived from advertising.
It is a year later and the advertisers have not returned despite new CEO Linda Yaccarino’s assurances that the company’s Brand Safety tools are in full effect to protect advertisers from appearing next to controversial content.
In fact, pharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences reported in August that they had suspended their advertising on the platform for various reasons.
This has left Musk and the company searching for new sources of revenue to help make up for the losses.
One of the things that they are exploring is reselling inactive Twitter handles.
It turns out that there are a lot of dead accounts that were created by bots or left the platform for one reason or another.
In December of 2022, Musk tweeted that he was considering freeing up over a billion handles.
Twitter will soon start freeing the name space of 1.5 billion accounts
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 9, 2022
Forbes Magazine is reporting that X is moving closer to opening a “handle marketplace” where some of these unused handles will be sold for $50,000 each.
The bylaws of the company forbid the buying or selling of handles, but this appears unlikely to stop the plan from moving forward.