Home > Tech-Etiquette > Suggestion: When Changing Your Twitter Handle Overlay Your Old One On Your Avatar

Suggestion: When Changing Your Twitter Handle Overlay Your Old One On Your Avatar


In my time on Twitter I have seen a number of people who have changed their “Twitter handle” – formally referred to by Twitter as a “Username” – from one day to the next with no warning or notice. Sometimes, it is because the name they originally wanted has been let back into the public domain for whatever reason. Sometimes it is just because the person decided they wanted to switch and just picked a new handle. Often, these new handles don’t have anything to do with the old handle and the person with the new handle decides to change their Twitter avatar (profile picture) as well. This results in people, like me and you, starting to see some seemingly random person posting in their tweet stream. Then we begin wondering who this person is and when did we start following them? This is especially true when the person’s avatar isn’t a very good or clear picture of them or if they have no other information in their profile like their full name listed, a completed bio, or a link to another website of theirs.

When you change your Twitter handle go into whatever image editor you use and insert your OLD handle in a readable font, size, and color in a noticeable place (top or bottom) of the new avatar.

As such, I am going to suggest a new point of “Twitter Etiquette” (Twetiquette? Twitterqette?). When you change your Twitter handle go into Paint (the simplest image editor which every copy of Microsoft Windows comes with) or whatever image editor you use and insert your OLD handle in a readable font, size, and color in a noticeable place (top or bottom) of the new avatar. Leave it there for a week or so, that should be long enough.

Doing this is much more effective and much less annoying than tweeting a message every day (or more) “Hey I used to be @OldHandle but this is account now has a new handle” when you change your handle.

My current (Jan 5, 2011) New Years themed avatar with my "old handle" noted.

The only other – possibly better – way I could think of  to do this would be to change your “Name” to include your old handle. In this method, where my handle on Twitter, as you know, is @Dan_L and my “Name” is Dan Levy if I were to change my handle to @GuruDan or something like that I would simply change my “Name” to ‘Dan Levy formerly @Dan_L’.

What do you think? Is it a simple and yet effective & unobtrusive enough way to accomplish the goal of letting everyone know your new Twitter handle? Have a better idea? Let me know.

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  1. October 14, 2014 at 12:29 pm

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