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THIS STORY HAS BEEN FORMATTED FOR EASY PRINTING

Qwikster isn't the first company to lose its Twitter identity

By Louis Bedigian
Benzinga Staff Writer / September 21, 2011

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This week, Netflix got into a bit of trouble when it used a half-hearted apology to advertise its new DVD-by-mail service, Qwikster. But our initial feelings of anger were quickly replaced by unrelenting laughter when it was revealed that Netflix had failed to secure the @Qwikster Twitter name.

After doing a quick search, however, it's clear that Netflix isn't the only company that has failed to secure an important account in social media.

America Online

@AmericaOnline - While AOL successfully secured the @AOL address, the company missed the boat in acquiring the firm's second most common search term. Consequently, @AmericaOnline is controlled by a guy spreading spam.

(Official Twitter: @AOL)

Take-Two Interactive

@TakeTwo - Take-Two Interactive can take comfort in knowing one thing: while @TakeTwo is indeed a spam zone, no one is following this account. Oddly, the company does not appear to own nor operate the Twitter name that matches its own website URL: take2games.com. As a result, @Take2Games has become a bit of a dead zone with only one tweet.

(Official Twitter: @2KGames and @2KSports)

AT&T

@ATandT - With more than 100,000 followers, it's clear that the official AT&T Twitter account, @ATT, is doing just fine. But the former, @ATandT, is a dead account that appears to have been created with the sole purpose of mocking AT&T's wireless service. “@Nguyen Are you saying you don't like our wireless service?” @ATandT wrote on August 13, 2009. “If you keep dropping calls maybe you should move closer to the tower.”

(Official Twitter: @ATT)

Smart Car

@Smart - Considering that social networking has been around longer than the Smart car, Daimler knew it couldn't count on the availability of this simple Twitter name. Fortunately, it belongs to Steve Martocci, the co-founder of GroupMe, the messaging service that Skype acquired in August. @SmartCar - Smart got lucky when 451s.com members acquired this account for the purpose of proliferating their love of the brand.

(Official Twitter: @SmartCarUSA)

General Motors

@GeneralMotors - While it is wholly possible that General Motors owns this stagnant page, the site owner has yet to tweet a single message. But @GeneralMotors has still managed to acquire 99 followers, likely because of its name.

Official Twitter: @GM)

Fizziology

@Fizziology - This box office research and prediction company uses social media to gauge the potential success of upcoming films. But since @Fizziology was already taken, the company had to choose another name.

Official Twitter: @iamfizziology)

Still The King?

As of this writing, @Qwikster has not tweeted in two days. Does this mean that Hollywood has finally scooped him up with the hope of turning him into the next Charlie Sheen? Or has Netflix secretly jumped in and acquired his account?