So - there is a username out there that perfectly matches your personal or business brand name. But, someone has taken it. What can you do about it? Is there anyway you can get a taken TikTok username?
Well ... let's take a deep dive into TikTok username claims!
TikTok has been around forever. I mean, if you consider that it started out as Musically and then re-branded to TikTok ... it's been a while!
Now, just as any other platform, a lot of the good, brandable and short usernames on TikTok are taken up by inactive profiles.
These are people who registered a cool brandable username but never got around to using it - or - perhaps they completely forgot about it, and just moved on to other things.
Now, here's the good news.
If a given username has been inactive/dormant, it can be claimed.
And well ... that's what Handle Harmony does. We specialize in claiming inactive usernames.
Got a username you need but it's taken by an inactive TikTok profile? We can help!
But wait ... how does it work?
You see - the type of access you have to TikTok support is very different from the type of access an ad agency with >$100m yearly ad spend has.
How does TikTok make money? Well ... like any other social network, TikTok runs on advertisers money.
And these advertisers (typically they are ad agencies, marketing agencies, social media agencies) - have a media relation partnership with TikTok. They have a dedicated concierge via which they can request for inactive usernames, verifications, unbans, ban of impersonating accounts and more.
After all - TikTok runs on advertisers money and ... as you can imagine ... the larger advertisers get a red carpet treatment at TikTok.
Now - the internet is filled with a ton of blog posts, articles and what-not talking about how you cannot get an inactive username since it's already taken.
And how you can just try contact support or report an inactive account.
As you can imagine, that's just not true at all.
You cannot report an account and get it banned just because they are inactive.
And of course there is a way to get inactive usernames - how do you think top brands, influencers, public figures - always seem to have perfect usernames, and just happen to be verified?
And now - we are in the tricky zone. If a desired username is inactive, you can claim it by working with an agency like Handle Harmony. Easy-peasy.
But - what if the desired username it active and in-use?
Well - in that case you are at the mercy of the current account owner. Regardless of whether you have a trademark, copyright - you cannot simply take away a username if it's already taken and actively in use. No matter how big or well established of a brand you are.
So - what we are left with is hoping that the current owner let's go of it and hand it over to us.
Is this common place? Of course it is! Lots of brands and influencers get hold of their perfect branded username by making a trade with the current owner of the handle.
However, there is a right way and a not-so-right way of getting a username that is already taken.
Let's say you wanted @greenplanet on TikTok but it's in use and taken. It's not a brand or a well known influencer ... just a random account with barely any followers.
Well ... they'd most likely be open to give up the username. So - you DM them and they quote you $500. Viola! That's a great deal.
You PayPal them the funds, and they change their username to something else and right then and there you take up @greenplanet on TikTok.
Unlike Instagram, TikTok doesn't hold a previous username for 14 days in limbo. Meaning, the moment @greenplanet is freed up on TikTok - you can instantly register it onto your account.
This is something that would be the 'right' way to do things.
Now, the wrong way would be to ask the owner to 'sell' their account to you. Where, you take over the account via username/password and then go in and change the email/phone/etc.
You see - the owner can in the future, report the account hacked and get back into the account and push you out. Yup. There is always going to be backdoor for the original owner to get back the account.
In all - when you buy an active username, either go through an agency like Handle Harmony (and we'll broker the transfer for you in a safe manner) - OR - ask the current owner to free-up the username so you can register it on your own account, instead of asking to take over their account.
So - if there is a username you'd like but it's taken AND inactive - give us a call, and we'll love to make it happen!
If it's active - try to broker a deal directly with the current owner - BUT - make sure to be smart about it. Avoid paying in crypto or other means which are non-refundable/non-disputable. Instead, use PayPal or Stripe, and ask the owner to rename their username and then go ahead and re-regsiter this username on your account. Do not under any circumstance risk taking over the login of the owner as they will always have a way back in.