Twitter Account Auctioned Off On eBay
Posted on April 13, 2008
Rocketboom founder Andrew Baron is auctioning off his Twitter account @andrewbaron on eBay. He has about 1,400 followers. Initially Baron's follower count dipped after he announced the sale last night but now his follower account has climbed to about 1450 because of all the discussio about the auction on Twitter. As Andrew Baron explains in the eBay listing the new owner of the Twitter can change the name to a new one - providing the new name doesn't already exist on Twitter.
Baron says, "The winner of this auction gets my account with all of my followers. The account is in my name now, but the winner of the auction can pick any other name that's available on Twitter for the transfer. For example, you could have http://www.twitter.com/x where x=any name thats not already taken. You can change it yourself at anytime too, one of the cool features about Twitter settings. So basically it's like getting a new account with your own name, but having a pre-installed audience."
Baron also says, "Also, as with any dynamic group, there is obviously risk. My followers could jump ship at anytime. There is no guarantee on this part. People will come and go, thats just the way it is. Whether you represent a company, a group or just yourself, this group will not want to be sold to, Im sure. The successful winner will share a reciprocal value with the followers."
The auction, which has reached $510 after 26 bids, has already exceeded price expectations. The big questions are how quickly will the Twitter bleed followers once the sale is complete and how much will this damage Andrew Baron's credibility on Twitter? He has called it an experiment and he does have the @rocketboom Twitter to move to after he sells the @andrewbaron Twitter account. Twitter spam has become a bigger issue as of late and a lot of people don't like the idea of a new user taking over the account and spamming them even though they can easily unfollow. Another issue is privacy - people might have sent @andrewbaron direct messages that they don't want someone else to read.
Some MySpace accounts with tens of thousands of dollars sell for $100 or more. This particular Twitter account auction is surpassing the value of the MySpace accounts that have tens of thousands of followers. You can also follow the blogosphere about the Twitter account sale on Techmeme.