ATwitter

Real People Are Spending Real Money On Attaining One-Word Twitter Handles

@Betabeat could be yours for the right price, tbh.
It's @andy and @oprah! (Photo: Instagram)

It’s @andy and @oprah! (Photo: Instagram)

Guess we’re so desperate for jobs we’re just making them up now. The latest one, dug up by the New York Post: being a “Twitter handle adviser,” a breathing human being that poaches desirable names for companies and celebrities.

The so-called “Twitter fixers” have helped companies, like JPMorgan Chase, attain attractive Twitter handles. In the bank’s case, they had a negotiator attain @Chase from then-owner Chase Giunta with a $20,000 offer. As to not violate Twitter’s rules (purchasing handles is banned), he declined the offer. Instead, Twitter strong-armed Mr. Guinta into handing it over, because of “alleged trademark issues.”

Celebrities–and Bravolebrities–have also moved toward one-word handles. Take, for instance, housewife queenmaker Andy Cohen. According to “sources,” he recently switched his name from @BravoAndy to @Andy and locked down the former to avoid squatters. (The paper appeared to be confused about how recently this happened, so we’ll politely note that it was Sept. 7).

Normal person Rob Bertholf, who controls @Rob, has had cash offers and even had MTV reality star Rob Dyrdek offer him a watch to take over his name.  He’s refused the offers, calling the power play an “ego thing.”

The Post notes that polishing brands’ presence, like giving them one-word handles, is part of Twitter’s push toward an IPO. The company wants to remind marketers how influential a single tweet can be and the surrounding buzz it can capture (See: Oreo).

“Companies who are trying to get a hand on their usernames are being quite creative,” said a marketing consultant. “It is impossible to know how common it is that Twitter-handle deals are made but I do assume that it is a growing marketplace.”

We will throw in an unused Panera giftcard AND season one of 30 Rock on DVD if @Jordan wants to hand over his.

Follow Jordan Valinsky on Twitter or via RSS. jvalinsky@observer.com