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I have one Twitter account that people follow me for some time @mike_and_long_name and now I have managed to get a much shorter @mike_me handle. As a bonus, no one follows the new handle - it's protected and unused so far.

Is it possible for me to perform an exchange so that my followers don't need to subscribe to my new shorter account?

  • Can I do this myself or would I have to open a support ticket with Twitter?

  • Does either way preserve links to old tweets in a transparent manner?

If you could explain the ramifications of doing this and any gotchas you have found, that would be even better. Knowing that the API calls and URL history of the old account moves to the new account would be ideal.

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You'd need to have a third name as you'll need to do this:

  1. rename @mike_me to @somethingrandom
  2. rename @mike_and_long_name to @mike_me
  3. rename @somethingrandom to @mike_and_long_name

From what I remember when other users have changed their Username your followers will still be following the accounts they were originally. So if @Joe is following @mike_and_long_name and @Bill is following @mike_me once you have completed the swap @Joe will be following @mike_me and @Bill will be following @mike_and_long_name.

It would be sensible to warn your followers that the name swap was about to happen so that they don't unfollow because they now think that they are following the wrong person.

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Wow - this is great. I'll probably do it very early some morning in conjunction with your warning tweet suggestion. I edited my question to make it clear I don't have anyone following @mike_me - but having this general makes it more useful to anyone in a similar situation. Does twitter automagically re-map old tweets. Would a tweet twitter.com/#!/mike_and_long_name/status/1234 from before step 2 work after the rename so that twitter.com/#!/mike_me/status/1234 would be valid content served going forward? – bmike Oct 16 '11 at 22:33
@bmike - I don't know for certain. All I know is that a couple of people I follow have changed their @ names and I have kept following them with no effort on my part. – ChrisF Oct 16 '11 at 22:35
In follow up - everything ChrisF has mentioned including the followers not being lost has shown to work for this transition. I've done it for two accounts and it goes quite smoothly. – bmike Sep 17 '12 at 20:25

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