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What Is a Twitter Handle? All You Need To Know


July 10, 2023 | 12 min read

Although many tweeps have used Twitter for years, they still don’t know what a Twitter handle is. With Twitter’s effective friend suggestion algorithm, we seldom need to send ours or even search people’s handles today. However, you may need to provide your Twitter handle while using an application or if someone inquires about it. Thus, you may wonder, “What is a Twitter handle?”

A Twitter handle differs significantly from your Twitter name, and so does its function. You can share the same Twitter name with others but not your Twitter handle. Let’s briefly consider the query, “What is a Twitter handle” and how you can find yours. This post will also highlight how to select or change your Twitter handle. 

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What Is a Handle on Twitter, and Why Is It Important?

If you’re wondering what a handle on Twitter is, it’s pretty simple. A handle on Twitter refers to a user’s unique username. That is the username that comes at the end of your Twitter URL. The Twitter handle or username begins after the asperand or “commercial at” symbol (@). While many users employ the same characters for Twitter name and handle, they’re independent identification that you can differentiate. 

Twitter Handles are unique in that only one user can have a specific username at a time. That means while two users can share a Twitter name, they cannot share a similar handle. Consequently, the accuracy of search results increases when you use Twitter handles rather than Twitter names. Besides, it takes the same effort to request a Twitter handle as it does to request a name. In a wrap, this answers the question, “What is a Twitter handle?” However, there is still more.

Your Twitter handle is obviously more important than your name; you need it when logging into your account. In addition, it accompanies all your messages and replies, remaining visible to other users. Besides being your primary account identifier, your Twitter handle performs other important functions. For instance, it allows you to tag a user in your tweet without necessarily taking up much space. Twitter handles have limited characters, making them concise so you can seamlessly fit them into your tweets. 

So, what is a Twitter handle? It is simply an account’s unique identifier visible to all.

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What Symbol Is Included in a Twitter Handle: Does It Infringe the Rules?

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If you’ve been searching on “what is a Twitter handle,” you must’ve noticed a few things. One is how Twitter handles play an invaluable role in differentiating and identifying accounts. Due to the importance of these roles, many rules govern their selection on registration. Some of these rules cover character length and composition when selecting a handle. For example, Twitter restricts the use of spaces, signs and symbols on a username. However, you may have noticed a particular symbol on many Twitter handles. So, what symbol is included in a Twitter Handle?

You can include an underscore (_) in your Twitter handle. This is the only symbol Twitter allows on usernames. As a result, people use it widely on Twitter handles. In addition, Twitter does not allow spaces on a username, so many employ underscores on their handles to differentiate names. Others also use this symbol as a prefix or suffix to validate their username when already taken. This is because no two accounts can have the same username, and the underscore makes all the difference. 

Remembering that a Twitter handle starts after the asperand (@) symbol is important. Thus, you should not consider this symbol a part of your username. The asperand stands between your Twitter name and handle, introducing the address to your profile — your handle.  

You can use as many underscores as possible in a handle, provided you stick to the overall character limit. Moreover, you can place them anywhere in the username, before, after, or between letters. Considering your earlier concern — what is a Twitter handle,  you must have learned its importance. No wonder it is void of other characters.

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How To Pick a Twitter Handle: Selecting the Most Creative Username

When making queries on “what is a Twitter handle,” you would’ve faced several difficulties. Given the opportunity to select a name that uniquely identifies you, you’ll undoubtedly seek the best. The greatest in this context describes a username that is functional, easy to remember, and maybe even fun. Since Twitter is a social space, your username should be crisp and clear, even if you represent a business. 

Just think, you probably didn’t get to choose your name, but now you can choose your handle. So, let’s briefly consider how to pick a Twitter handle that is functional and acceptable. First, consider a few rules that govern a username selection. 

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What Is a Twitter Handle: Important Rules To Consider When Choosing a Handle

The article has answered the question, “What is a Twitter handle?” So, you know you can’t just pick any name for your handle. This section highlights some rules you must consider when selecting a username. Remember that you must obey all these rules for Twitter to register your handle successfully. 

First, your Twitter handle must be unique; no other active user can have the same username name. When a user registers an account with a specific handle, Twitter records that username, making it unavailable to others. The handle only becomes available when the user changes that username and selects another. 

So, if you can’t register a username, you can simply register with an alternative choice, pending when the current user changes his handle. While the chances of this happening are very low, it is still possible. 

Next, your username must have between four to 15 characters. Unlike your Twitter name, which can have one to 50 characters, your handle cannot exceed 15. Similarly, the username name cannot be less than four characters. This ensures that your handle is concise yet reasonable enough to be functional. 

Further, your Twitter handle can only comprise alphanumeric values and the underscore symbol. However, the alphabet can be in the upper or lower case. Besides the underscore, Twitter does not permit using signs, symbols or leaving spaces. Also, your Twitter handle cannot contain the words “Twitter” and “Admin.” Twitter reserves these words for their official accounts. 

What Is a Twitter Handle: 6 Tips for Selecting the Best 

Although you can choose your Twitter handle, the above rules restrict you from picking any username. Still, if this is your first time, the endless possibilities confronted with these limitations can leave you confused. A good username ensures that no one has to ask, “What is a Twitter handle?” So, here are some tips for picking an ideal username.  

  1.  Use your name or an immediate modification to help users find you easily. If it’s a business account, use the business name as the account name and Twitter handle. 
  2. Keep your Twitter handle concise and memorable. You can achieve this by limiting numbers and underscores in your handle. Instead, use an initial between names if someone has taken your desired handle.
  3. Be creative. To make it unique, you can creatively substitute numbers for alphabets in your username. For example, you can substitute 1 for “I” and 4 for “A” in a name. 
  4. If your business name is considerably long, you can use its initials as your Twitter handle, provided it is more than four characters. 
  5. Add the abbreviations “INC” and “HQ” to your business name to make it more professional. 
  6. Use a consistent name and spelling from your accounts across different platforms to increase your visibility. 

How To Change Your Twitter Handle: Five Simple Steps To Register a New Username

Whenever questions like “What is a Twitter handle” arise, it becomes clear that the users are new. These users probably didn’t know that a Twitter name differs from a Twitter handle while registering their accounts. So, they may have been content using their email addresses to complete the registration. Users may understand how important their usernames are to visibility and may realize that the current ones aren’t functional enough. In addition, having seen thousands of creative handles might have sparked some users’ creative senses to do better. 

Nevertheless, as a tweep, you don’t have to worry about being stuck with a boring username. You can change it anytime. This section highlights how to change your Twitter handle seamlessly. Now that there’s an answer to the question “What is a Twitter Handle,” here’s how to change your Twitter handle

  1. First, go to the Twitter menu by tapping your profile icon in the top left corner. 
  2. Next, select “Settings and Support” and open “Settings and Privacy.”
  3. Tap on “Your account” and click “Account information.”
  4. Select “Username” and update the field with your username of choice. 
  5. Note: If someone else already has that username or it violates the rules, Twitter will prompt you to select another. 
  6. Finally, click “Done” to save your new username. 

After this action, nothing besides your username changes on your account. Your followers, message and replies remain intact. However, your new Twitter handle immediately becomes visible to your followers, appearing on your profile and accompanying your tweets. 

Moreover, unlike Instagram, where you can change your handle at most twice in 14 days, there’s no limit on Twitter. You can change your Twitter handle as frequently as you please. Still, you should be reasonable and allow your followers to recognize you as you change handles. In fact, it’d be best to notify followers before changing your handle, so they can begin tagging your new handle.   

What Is a Twitter Handle: Taking Back My Username of Choice

With the growing Twitter user base, finding that someone else already has your username won’t be surprising. However, you can do some things if you must keep that username, especially if it ties to your brand. If you’ve been wondering what to do when someone takes your username, let’s review some options to explore. 

You can send Twitter a report if your preferred username has your registered trademark. If you know what a Twitter handle is, you’d know it is critical for your brand. In this case, the current user would be infringing your registered copyright. So, if your report is concrete, Twitter will readily free up your preferred handle, especially against an inactive account. 

Further, you can try contacting the account owner and politely request him to hand over the username. This can be a long shot, but you can succeed with compelling reasons, persuasion and a reasonable user. Nevertheless, you need to be careful with contact; some users can offer to sell you the handle. Although an easy way to get your preferred username, this option infringes on Twitter’s policies, which can get you suspended.  

Also, you can retain your username of choice by making slight modifications. The article covered this earlier when answering the question, “What is a Twitter handle?” You can do this by simply adding an underscore, an article, a word or an abbreviation. Many have found using the article “the” as a prefix very effective.

You can also use words like “help” or “ask” as prefixes, especially for customer service accounts. Abbreviations like “INC’ or “HQ” are also effective. In addition, you can abbreviate one or more names to enable you to keep a unique username. 

A picture of an iPhone displaying Donald Trump’s suspended Twitter account.

How Do I Find My Twitter Handle After Knowing What a Twitter Handle Is? 

Having found answers to what is a Twitter handle, you know it’s not easy to find, at least that of other users. Your Twitter handle, on the other hand, does not appear on your timeline. So, you may ask, “How do I find my Twitter handle?” If you want to share or even change your username, you must answer this question first. So, let’s find the answer. 

You can find your Twitter handle on your profile page. Simply tap on your profile icon on the top left corner of the page to reveal your handle. The Twitter handle appears below your profile picture, just after your Twitter name. Here also, the ampersand symbol prefixes your Twitter handle. 

To share your Twitter handle, just tap on your Twitter name and handle to open the full profile page. Then, select Share from the menu from the top right corner using the 3-dot icon. Now, choose where and who to share your profile with from the drop menu. Alternatively, use the copy option to copy your profile link and paste it where you intend to share. 

When building a successful Twitter community, you’d only want to share an interesting and informative profile to surf. This is possible when you have a focused account free of junk. TweetEraser proves to be an invaluable tool that helps you clear the clutter on your account. With this tool, you can bulk delete tweets, leaving only those relevant to your brand. TweetEraser is an automated tool that helps clean and maintain your timeline seamlessly. It’s a perfect solution for maintaining your account even with the least time and investment. So, start filtering and cleaning your Twitter timeline today!

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