All Good Usernames are Gone

All Good Usernames are Gone

 The username frankdavid is taken. Here are some suggestions – ‘frandavid_1’ and ‘_frank_david_’. We’ve always heard how humans are depleting all the natural resources of the world. But here is something else that we are quickly running out of: usernames. The last time I went over to Instagram to set up a new profile for my start-up idea, I realized how incredibly hard it is to register a username. All the good usernames are taken. Literally! And all I’m stuck with is a string of random special characters and numbers. Well, that is not ideal at all. How do I claim Instagram usernames that are taken but inactive? Or are all the usernames gone forever? Of the usernames that I wanted; most were registered but inactive. I’m taking about profiles that were created years ago and not even used for more than a day. What do we do about such a situation? We were all warned about this years ago – but, in 2022, this is getting more complicated than ever. Every time I go to create an online account, I’m find myself in a battle. I would typically spend hours trying dozens of permutations and combinations until I find one, I’m willing to settle with, but not excited about.

How Did We Get Here?

The internet is only 20 years old but here we are. It is almost impossible to get a username that perfectly matches your identity or brand. You’re stuck with a string of underscores and numbers. Now imagine this, think of Instagram in 2030. Where would we be by then? I mean, the battle would turn into a war. Anytime someone goes onto create an account on Instagram or any other social network for that matter, or even an email account, they’d probably spend hours trying to creatively come up with something that they can live with.

Let’s take Instagram for instance. Born in 2010, Instagram, as of today is 12 years old. It currently has about 2 billion monthly active users. In the 12 years that it has been in our life, there would have been more usernames created and registered on Instagram than the population of planet earth. Remember, a person can create as many Instagram usernames as they’d like. So, a person in 2013 may have decided to register 20 different usernames just because they had a moment of inspiration for an idea. And today, those usernames may very well have been inactive for half a decade. And anyone else that now wants to use this username has no way around it.

All Good Usernames are Gone

Yes, when you do the math, there are virtually billions and billions of possibilities of usernames that you could come with. But let’s be real here. No one loves having an underscore or a string of numbers on their usernames. So, all we’re left with is the alphabets and the number of characters a username can have.

Chances are, every name that you think you have come up with in the spur of the moment, someone has already thought of it, registered it, and is never going to ever use it. Why? Well, because it’s free to create an Instagram account. Unlike setting up a business license that incurs yearly fee, with Instagram, you can create a thousand accounts today at no cost to you. So, what is a workaround to claim Instagram usernames that are registered but not active?

The Way Out

For most of us, there is simply no way out but to just add a creative suffix or prefix, or both, to a name that we think works well. But – for serious content creators and brands, there is a silver lining in all of this. You see, social platforms understand how important a perfect username is to those who want to build their personal or business brand on their platform. And for this reason, they have a secret way around this. There is a way to get inactive and taken Instagram usernames.

Yes, you heard that right. There is a way out of this. In a sea of billions of usernames that are taken and inactive, you can literally pick and choose one that you’d like and have it reassigned to you. But this comes at a cost. You see, the only way to take a username that is already registered is, to have reassigned to you. And the only way to have that done is to have a digital agency internally raise a request with their contact over at Instagram. Confused yet?

Well, don’t be. There has always been a way to get taken usernames. The only catch is these methods are exclusive to social media boutique agencies and their clients. In other words, with the right agency hired, you can have the username you want, get it verified and get a lot more done. Ever wonder how some celebrities and brands always have a way around getting the most perfect username? Well, this is how they do. They have the agency that represents them, reach out to Instagram internal team, and have the username claimed.

Is this good news? Well, yes and no. For the average Joe, this would be out of budget. But remember, your online identity is everything in this era. Your username is what you’re known by. Your audience and your customers find you by your username. So, for those looking to have a consistent and memorable personal or brand identity online, the cost associated with claims would be a sound investment.

And, that my friends, is how you claim Instagram usernames. You hire an agency to get it done for you. You mark it off as an investment towards your online branding and identity. And, you finally have a username that perfectly matches your name, your domain, and your identity. I mean, that is worth a lot, isn’t it? And there you go. Yes, every username you’d like may seem taken, but there is always a way around this. And, with a bit of luck you can have the perfect username that resonates with your identity.


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