In my Domain Name Best Practices post, I suggested buying similar TLDs to protect your institution’s identity from would be corporate identity thieves.
It appears that there is a new threat to brand identity theft – Twitter Squatting. I hadn’t heard of this trend until searching for web professionals using Twitter in my area and I came across a story in the Montreal Gazette. The article states:
But there’s a new threat to a brand’s integrity on the Web: Twitter squatters. These are people who register an account on Twitter, a service for sending short messages, with the name of a company. For better or worse, these people become the public face of the firm on this popular social network.
Tim Hortons has been squatted on Twitter. So has Coca-Cola, Sears and many others. Luckily for these brands, however, their respective squatters have done little besides registering the account and leaving it idle.
After reading the article, I went and checked Twitter. Sure enough Tim Hortons and Sears were registered and idle and the Coca-Cola account was suspended. So it appears that this is a growing trend.
Protect your brand against Twitter squatting. Register your institution’s Twitter account now – even if you’re not ready to start tweeting. With another medium to promote your brand comes another way to exploit it.
Do you think Twitter Squatting is a growing trend? Add a comment and tell me what you think.