A little over $2M, but that number keeps growing because I still have loads of usernames despite instagram patching the ratelimit bypass.

This commenter made $2m from instagram username squatting.

I will excerpt something I wrote elsewhere:

Look, I’ll say this as an admitted domain hoarder myself, but:

The thing that sucks about namespaces is that there’s no way to win. If people can own them without an ongoing cost, they’ll go unused (think of people squatting really good social media usernames without activity on the account). If people have to pay an ongoing cost, there will be a lot of stuff where the cost-benefit to them of maintaining the domain part of those Cool URIs they picked doesn’t make sense… so a lot of cool stuff has disappeared from the internet, especially the personal or non-commercial freely shared resources, leaving an ad-ridden wasteland behind.

So yeah, I do kinda think that people should have their own domains if they have enough internet presence to want to set up a Linktree, but way too many techie people take the drawbacks for granted.

Also, unrelated, but something I have deep scorn for: the orange site’s1 function (intended or not) is to shatter (collapse) whatever context a blogger or creator may have constructed with their own audience, and instead toss their piece into a techbro thunderdome of “I didn’t read the article but here’s my take” engagement2. As a response, some sites – as Cadence’s – create redirects that send orange site traffic elsewhere. Cadence’s is very polite, honestly, though I can admit I’ve laughed at the fart noises to which others choose to send visitors. Anyway, the outraged entitlement with which some commenters respond – at this mildest of inconveniences! You can literally just open it in a new tab and still read! – ought to saddle them with some kind of extra tax burden to compensate society for their being such pills.

  1. “Hacker News”, a triumph of branding relative to its reality. 

  2. You can see I participate myself! It’s in a moderately self-loathing way; that kind of venue was critical in my being able to self-educate re: the stuff that a CS degree doesn’t cover. This was very important to me as someone who wasn’t getting a super competitive CS education and who didn’t have, like, family in the industry, so saying that people should avoid it doesn’t feel quite right… but god does it generate some xkcd-2051-type experiences