twitter, my research, light anti-disinformation work 

I finally wrote up something explaining that Twitter has not allowed people to pick usernames during signup for almost 3 years now, and that a "jsmith12345678" username pretty much just means you're dealing with a not super technically savvy social media literate person.

tinysubversions.com/notes/twit

twitter, my research, light anti-disinformation work 

@darius
I wonder what played a bigger role in this design choice:
• Twitter wanting to put less focus on pseudonymic usernames/handles and more on 'real' names.
• easier to understand to 'normies' / non-techie users who perhaps don't know what is meant by a username or handle, or why they'd need one
• reducing potential on-boarding friction from telling users their desired username is already taken

twitter, my research, light anti-disinformation work 

@FiXato @darius Also: wanting people’s only sign-in identifier to be phone number as that’s the sign-in de jour (“thanks”~ Signal/WhatsApp/TikTok/et al for this dumb fad) and is “easy” because your mobile app can just ask the user’s phone for it without asking the user, and that also happens to be useful info for future marketing.

In the early days when Twitter used SMS they had a legitimate reason to have phone numbers, now they don’t.

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twitter, my research, light anti-disinformation work 

@FiXato @darius It would almost be funny that early Twitter helped put usernames on otherwise useless SMS phone addresses and today’s Twitter is stupidly fascinated on replacing user readable usernames with phone numbers.

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