Twitter is finally taking action on the inactive accounts that make up a huge portion of its user base, planning on deleting accounts that haven’t signed in for a set period of time as of December 11. Twitter is one of the most popular social media platforms in the world and has cultivated a reputation for being one of the premier locations to quickly access information that has already been curated for a specific person’s tastes thanks to their ability to follow only those they wish to see the tweet.
Twitter has also been the source of many of the entertainment industry’s biggest spoilers thanks to the hashtag system it employs, displaying those that are trending to users despite potentially sensitive material. Most recently, Twitter was responsible for spoiling The Mandalorian‘s big twist because of a hashtag that gave it away, leading many to become upset that a major twist had been ruined because so many people were talking about it. Twitter has also come under fire for the way it displays tweets and curates recommendations based on who users follow, implementations that have led to users viewing material they didn’t want to see simply because the algorithm thought they would.
Twitter Removing Inactive Usernames in December ’19
In need of something of a win, Twitter is finally going to be doing something users have wanted for years now: releasing inactive handles back into the wild. The company has begun circulating emails (via a report from The Verge) telling users that if they do not sign in by December 11, their account will be deleted. Any account that hasn’t signed onto the platform over the past six months has been receiving an email alert indicating they need to log in. A Twitter spokesperson clarified why the company feels the need to begin cleaning up accounts:
“As part of our commitment to serving the public conversation, we’re working to clean up inactive accounts to present more accurate, credible information people can trust across Twitter. Part of this effort is encouraging people to actively log-in and use Twitter when they register an account, as stated in our inactive accounts policy.”
One of the interesting elements of this decision is how it will affect Twitter accounts currently held by the deceased, with the Twitter team suggesting it was looking into ways to memorialize someone’s Twitter account in the future. The team also doesn’t have an exact date for when the usernames will be made available, but it won’t be immediately after they’re removed.
Regardless, Twitter users will have to start making a shortlist now to see what they want. There’s going to be a lot of competition aiming for the biggest, simplest ones, but it’s bound to create some positive buzz for Twitter once the dates are announced.