Netflix changed the name of its DVD mailing service to “Qwikster,” only to find out the correlating Twitter name is already registered. The account has an icon of Elmo from Sesame Street smoking what appears to be marijuana. Twitter maintains that a current tweeter can’t be forced to give up a name unless it’s trademarked. The online streaming service will remain “Netflix,” but the mail-order service will be called “Qwikster.” Click to enlarge this image.
Qwikster is the new Netflix … just not on Twitter.
Netflix changed the name of its DVD mailing service to “Qwikster” over the weekend, only to find out after the fact that the correlating Twitter handle is already registered to a foul-mouthed pothead.
The individual using the account is listed as Jason Castillo, and the account sports a doctored icon of Elmo from Sesame Street smoking what appears to be marijuana.
It’s probable that further tweets of hot girls, sports, and showing up late for school don’t fall in line with Qwikster’s brand campaign.
The oversight may prove a misstep for Netflix, which is highly active on the social media front — maintaining a relatively robust Facebook page and an active Twitter account — as it tries to build a new brand from the ground up.
Acquiring the name will also be a challenge — if it’s even possible, Business Insider reports.
“While Netflix secured the Qwikster domain, there is no record of a trademark filing for “Qwikster,” writes Alyson Shontell. “Unfortunately for Netflix, unless you own a trademark, you can’t force a current tweeter to give up his or her handle. Twitter also doesn’t let users buy handles from others.”
It doesn’t help that the new name, Qwikster, is inherently confusing. As Technologizer points out, there are already a plethora of brands with similarly sounding yet weirdly spelled names: Quixtar, QuickStar, Kiwkster, Quickster, Kiwk Star, and Kickstar to name a few.
Surely not the kind of buzz Netflix is looking for after admitting the company’s “arrogance” in how it handled the service’s recent hike in pricing.
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings announced early Monday that the company was splitting its two services in two, keeping the streaming service as Netflix and calling its mail order plan the aforementioned “Qwikster.”
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