Twitter handles are quickly becoming as desirable as domains and Tweexchange hopes to capitalize on this by providing a marketplace for Twitter members to exchange, buy or find Twitter usernames from other existing members. Tweexchange also lets you easily find what Twitter handles have been taken and recommends alternate usernames for your desired Twitter handle.
It’s actually a useful service when trying to find what Twitter names are available. The site also lists Twitter handles for sale, which could be a lucrative business if the handles listed for sale are actually desirable. Currently, the only handle listed that could be of value is “HowardJohnsons,” which is on sale for $750.00. If you do see a Twitter name available that you’d like to buy or negotiate, Tweexchange lets you send the owner a Tweet or email inquiry.
Selling “free” Twitter names is apparently ‘against Twitter rules’, but it’s unclear as to how and if Twitter is enforcing this rule.
“Twitter Squatting” is become a popular phenomenon. People are taking up brand names, company names and famous individuals’ names as user names in the hopes of cashing in big one day, like many who bought popular domain names have in the past. Most recently, CNN and James Cox, the original owner of CNNbrk (CNN’s breaking news Twitter account) created a deal for Cox to act as a consultant as the network “acquired” the Twitter name. The news that CNN didn’t own the actual CNN Twitter handle emerged during CNN’s competition with Ashton Kutcher to see who reached 1 million followers first. CNN didn’t disclose how much the network is paying Cox for the consulting gig.