Greg Cordover

Thoughts & projects

Availability of Short Twitter Handles

Posted on Aug 7, 2015 — 2 minute read

Somewhat recently, I wrote a post about signing up for Twitter accounts using their private API. I also talked about how there were endpoints for checking username availability. These endpoints have no rate limiting, which enables us to do many fun things. One such thing is checking over 2,000,000 handles to see if they were still available.

On Twitter, short handles are a coveted thing. There are not many of them, and most have been taken. Twitter allows for 37 possible characters in a handle, letters (26), numbers (10), and underscores (1), bring the allowed character count to 37.

To check how many possible handles there are in a certain character length, enter your number here.

There are 1,874,161 four character handles, quite a jump up from three characters. Again, however, all of these have been registered. Scanning through all of these took quite a while longer, but it was still doable.

Unfortunately, there are 69,343,957 million possible five character handles, which would take days to scan through, and I am certain Twitter would not like. To see what was available, I first started with a dictionary. There were no real words available. I then used a leaked password list to get potential handles that would not be entirely random, but not real words. In total, this was 249,992 items to try, a somewhat reasonable number. Of this, only 14,482 were available.

If you need a short Twitter handle, just click the button below, and it will pull a handle off the list I collected.

You can view the complete list here. As time goes on, I am sure that these handles will dry up and Twitter will finally be forced to purge inactive accounts.

Note: this list has not been updated since the post was published many years ago.