Your Name and Handle

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Updated January 28, 2020

Your handle is what follows the β€œ@” on Twitter. Try to keep it short and simple. There are a few options for your handle:

  • Your real name (if it’s not taken)
  • A nickname
  • A made-up handle associated with you
  • A handle (or username) you’ve used on existing social media or blogs.

Your name on Twitter is changeable and precedes the handle when you tweet; they are usually different. People generally use their real name for their Twitter name, and you can easily modify the name field to include details you might want to communicate to your followers at different times, like being at a specific conference or being on vacation:

  • β€œTina Jenkins in SF for TC Disrupt (Oct 2-4)” or
  • β€œKevin Lee OOO until March 3”

Fair warning: your Twitter handle may become a nickname in real life, so choose something you can live with. (Holloway’s co-founder and CEO, Andy Sparks, is frequently called IRL by his Twitter name, @SparksZilla.)

  • Saku Panditharatne uses @asteroid_saku, which associates her with the company she founded, Asteroid AR.

  • Diana Fleischman uses @sentientist, which underscore her belief in the value of all living and sentient organisms, something she discusses and tweets about frequently.

  • Jessi Hempel uses @jessiwrites, which emphasizes her work as a writer and journalist.

How to change your username.

Your Photo

There’s a case to be made for keeping your profile picture the same over the years, even if it means it’s not always up to date. The Founder and CEO of Product Hunt, Ryan Hoover, keeps his profile picture the same, saying, β€œOn Twitter, your @username is secondary to your profile pic. People recognize you by your avatar. Once changed, followers need to re-associate the new photo with your person.”

While the safest bet is to use a photo of yourself, some people opt for cartoon avatars or an illustration.

This practice is more common if you’re already well known. Here are a few examples:

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