1

Unfortunately my desired twitter username is taken. For hypothetical purposes let's say it's AnnaGoesHome. There are lot variations of prefixes and suffixes I can use such as TheAnnaGoesHome, AnnaGoesHomeCom, IamAnnaGoesHome.

Anna_Goes_Home is nice because it's still feels like the exact desired name with no additional words, but most recommend not using underscores. What are the practical reasons for not using underscores in a twitter username? (i.e. what are the true cons?)

  • Because it looks bad? Because at 140 characters @replies with underscores would seem to take up too much space? This seems like it's asking for opinions. – ale Apr 25 '15 at 3:29
  • And, frankly, I see plenty of people with underscores in their Twitter handles. – ale Apr 25 '15 at 3:31
  • @AlE. I'm not asking for stylistic reasons (i.e. it looks bad). I'm wondering what are the non-stylistic reasons for not using underscores. I don't see that as asking for opinions. – User Apr 25 '15 at 4:33
5

Twitter fully supports underscores in usernames; their support article even recommends it to those unable to get their preferred handle.

Adding underscores before or after your desired username will help you claim a unique handle on Twitter.

But therein lies a rub; having an underscore-containing name sends the message that you were late to the party or otherwise failed to get what you wanted. Who'd want to follow such a loser?

I can think of only one objective reason to prefer underscore-less names: underscores are harder to type on mobile keyboards than letters or numbers. It's not often that users enter someone's Twitter handle manually, but it does happen.

2

If you want to promote your Twitter handle off-line especially in spoken formats, eg announcing at a conference "follow Anna_goes_home on Twitter for live-tweet updates, then the underscore is a pain. It's hard to vocalise, and a fair proportion of non-tech-heads won't even know what an "underscore" is.

But if your promotions are totally on-line using clickable links, then I don't see the underscore as a problem.

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