Man who owned Twitter @X handle responds to questions of whether Musk paid him for account

Gene Hwang, former owner of the coveted X handle on Twitter, said the company just took the handle and offered very little in return.

by | Published on 27th Jul 2023

Almost overnight, Twitter became X and with the name change came a new logo, a new identity and we waved goodbye to Larry the Bird.

As everyone tries to get on board with Elon Musk’s X, eyes have turned to the site’s official new handle, @x, which used to be owned by a long-term Twitter user, Gene X Hwang.

It turns out that during the run-up to the re-brand, the platform might not have secured its new handle properly.

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Hwang, a photographer and videographer, spoke to TechCrunch about the bizarre turn of events that effectively commandeered his handle.

He revealed that nobody from X/Twitter contacted him ahead of time, saying “I’m kind of waiting to see what might happen”.

“I would be willing to part with the handle if they made an offer for it that made sense,” he said.

So, what happened to Hwang’s account?

He shared a cryptic post from his new handle @x123456779987665 (doesn’t quite have the same ring to it, does it?).

“All’s well that ends well,” he said.

Right after the ‘takeover’, numerous media outlets got in touch with Hwang to hear his version of the story.

Speaking to CNBC, Hwang confirmed he did receive an email from X confirming they were essentially taking back the handle.

“I just got the email, they said that they owned [the handle] as part of the company,” Hwang said. “I wasn’t overly surprised by it.”

Hwang said X didn’t offer any cash, just some merch and the chance to visit the HQ.

As you can imagine many other complications have cropped up, rebranding a massive corporation with a symbol as widespread as the letter ‘X’ is no easy feat.

The rollout of Musk’s new vision has been convoluted, to say the least, with remnants of both Twitter and X’s design cropping up simultaneously as the switch comes into play.



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