Justin.tv, the life-streaming service that eventually grew into Twitch, was shut down back in 2014. Since then, many Twitch users have asked when the company would release the old Justin.tv usernames – requests that escalated after Twitch introduced the ability to change usernames earlier this year. As it turns out, Twitch is now doing just that.
In an email sent confidentially to Twitch Partners (which was shared with TechCrunch), Twitch announced it’s releasing the nearly 30 million inactive usernames associated with the old Justin.tv brand. This will effectively put some of the most desirable usernames back into action – names that have been tied up for years.
It hasn’t made much sense to keep the usernames locked up for so long, especially since many of the old JTV names are associated with user accounts that never even moved to Twitch.
When Twitch first announced it would allow username changes, a number of commenters on the blog post detailing the change were quick to point out that the best names were still unavailable due to this exact problem.
Twitch Partners are getting the first crack at scoring their desired username, the email explains.
They’ll be able to do so by following the standard procedures, even if they had already changed their name in the past 60 days (something that normally would have prevented a second name change). Twitch says it has overridden its cooldown period so everyone has a chance to grab one of the JTV usernames.
The email also details a few caveats about the name-changing process in general.
Notably, Partner revenue is not affected and their old name will not be recycled. However, the old name won’t redirect to the new one, so it will be up to Twitch Partners to change their URL anywhere else it’s used on the web or offline.
Additionally, broadcaster stats will need to be exported before the change as they’ll not be preserved.
Twitch also says that while Partners are getting the initial opportunity to claim the names, the remaining names will be released to the public next week. Hoorah!
This will be a huge land grab for Twitch users – and there won’t be enough of the old names to go around. Twitch’s website claims over 100 million users are on Twitch every month to watch, chat and broadcast about video games, and 15 million are active daily. Of these, over 25,000 are members of Twitch’s Partner program, which gives them the ability to make money from their channels.
Twitch confirmed the email with a statement.
“This has been a long awaited ask that we’re excited to roll out to the Twitch community very soon, and we’re taking a phased approach to doing so.”
The full email from Twitch is below.
Twitch is releasing the nearly 30 million inactive usernames that were associated with the Twitch predecessor, Justin.tv.
This is confidential information which you are receiving because you are a Partner. Please read through all of the details of this email and do not share it until you see official communication from Twitch on the blog or Twitter.
After we launched the ability to change usernames, the logical next question was, “When are you going to release JTV usernames?” We’re excited to say that for PARTNERS ONLY, that day is today and that time is now.
We’re releasing the nearly 30 million inactive usernames that were associated with the Twitch predecessor, Justin.tv. These highly coveted names have been unavailable since we retired the Justin.tv brand a few years ago, but we’re excited to finally make them available again. Because we understand how important it is to your personal brand, and acknowledge the additional complexities involved in changing a Partner username, we would like to extend you the opportunity to claim these names, starting today, before the public launch later next week.
As a Partner, you have been given access to these names as of right now. All you will need to do is change your name through the standard flow on your settings page. For instructions on how to complete this, see here. If you’ve already changed your username in the past 60 days, fear not as we’ve also overridden that cooldown for you.
As a Partner, it’s important to us that you have all the information you need when it comes to changing your username. As such, we would like to remind you of the below key facts and known issues that may impact your account if you change your username:
1. Your revenue will not be impacted. We want to stress that a username change will lead to absolutely no loss of revenue.
2. Your old username will not be recycled. Except in special circumstances, your username will not be made available again to anyone else.
3. If you change your username, you will lose access to your broadcaster stats associated with your old username. If you want to preserve your prior broadcast stats, you must export your stats prior to the name change.
4. Your channel URL will not redirect to your new username. You will need to update the URL anywhere you are using it — your business card, Twitter or Facebook profile, etc.
We’re as excited about this as you are, but please do not share this information publicly until you see an official communication from Twitch on the blog or Twitter.