On Monday morning, Jason Castillo was a Twitter user with a few dozen followers, a knack for misspelling words, and a frequent desire to smoke pot.
Today, his Twitter handle, @Qwikster
, has nearly 10,000 followers—and it’s all thanks to Netflix, which on Sunday night announced
that it was dividing its company in two. Netflix will handle video streaming, while a new, wholly owned subsidiary named Qwikster will deliver DVDs by mail. (PR professionals debated this move on Ragan.com
Here’s what we know about Castillo, based on his tweets:
• He likes to “blaze” (smoke marijuana);
• His ex-girlfriend is dating someone else, but he’d prefer not to hear about it;
• He enjoys a bike ride in D.C., during which he admires attractive women;
• He’s frequently bored as “shyt”;
• When he finally realized he owned the Twitter handle of a new company that ate up Monday’s headlines, he tweeted: “Dayum over 3120 follower just cuz some ppl wanna buy my handle 3 ppl have asked but idk who to trust.” Naturally.
But can this young man make some money off @Qwikster by selling the handle to Netflix? According to Twitter’s terms of service
, users are forbidden to sell their handles to one another, unless they get permission from Twitter. Here’s what the terms say:
Selling user names: Unless you have been specifically permitted to do so in a separate agreement with Twitter, you agree that you will not reproduce, duplicate, copy, sell, trade or resell the Services for any purpose, where "Services" is defined as follows: Your use of Twitter's products, services and web sites (referred to collectively as the "Services" in this document and excluding any services provided to you by Twitter under a separate written agreement) is subject to the terms of a legal agreement between you and Twitter.
However, as Gizmodo
points out (and we’re inclined to agree):
“Twitter won't comment on private accounts, but I'm sure if Netflix and Jason Castillo approached Twitter with a deal that made sense for both parties, they would be more than happy to allow Castillo to sell his account.”
Any guesses on how much the handle is worth? Castillo tweeted on Monday that someone offered him $1,000. (Hold out, young man.) Later, he tweeted that he’s not sure whom to trust, because he’s received multiple offers. (Trust no one.)
Maybe he’d settle for lifetime unlimited streaming of “Up in Smoke.”
For your purposes there’s a very simple tip for avoiding what we’re now calling the “Jason Castillo” gaffe: Check the availability of a Twitter handle before you unveil a new company. If it’s taken, sort it out before you make the announcement.
Otherwise, you might have to deal with this:
“N I won't agree till I get a contract n ill negotiate