If you’re new to Twitter you probably had an awkward time finding the perfect username. As the platform has expanded dramatically over the past few years, growing almost one hundred fold since 2007 (counting dummy, abandoned accounts and bots, which we are, as they’re still taking up usernames), the availability of good and especially short usernames has dropped exponentially, and, much like domain names, this isn’t going to get better unless they implement a brand new system, or start over.

So how bad is it on Twitter? Well, according to a new study, new usernames are almost 25 percent bigger in 2012 than they were five years ago, and the average number of non-letter characters in a username has more than doubled over the same period.

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