Well Twitter's done it. LinkedIn's done it. Why has it taken Facebook
this long to allow its registered members to sign up for vanity URLs?
Well that oversight will be rectified soon. Let the Gold Rush begin...
While the clocking is a tickin', be ready to round up your virtual covered wagons to gallop on over to the Facebook corral by 12:01 AM, Saturday, June 13, 2009, if you want to secure squatters' rights for your profile name as part and parcel of your Facebook URL. Register here.
So what's a vanity URL, you might ask? Well right now, we are all just considered "numbers" at Facebook. For instance my URL is http://www.facebook.com/people/Ron-Callari/1172215471. Yes I have "Ron Callari" as part of my URL, but there is no way I could possibly remember this lengthy URL, whereas my Twitter handle at http://twitter.com/roncallari is such an easy address to tuck away in my memory bank!
To be part of the Gold Rush, Facebook has laid out their Vanity URL instructions as such...
- From the beginning of Facebook, people have used their real names to share and connect with the people they know. This authenticity helps to create a trusted environment because you know the identity of the people and things on Facebook. The one place, though, where your identity wasn't reflected was in the Web address for your profile or the Facebook Pages you administer. The URL was just a randomly assigned number like "id=592952074." That soon will change.
- We're planning to offer Facebook usernames to make it easier for people to find and connect with you. When your friends, family members or co-workers visit your profile or Pages on Facebook, they will be able to enter your username as part of the URL in their browser. This way people will have an easy-to-remember way to find you. We expect to offer even more ways to use your Facebook username in the future.
One requirement for Fan Pages, is that there must have be at least 1,000 fans and the page has to have been created before 5/31/09. User profiles created on Thursday, June 11, 2009 after 3PM EDT will also not be immediately eligible.
So when 12:01 AM rolls around Saturday, June 13th, I will have the opportunity be lay claim to my name and my companies'names, that would look like: http://facebook.com/roncallari and http://facebook.com/ioptimizemarketing and http://facebook.com/kiddmillennium (note: these URLs are not live yet. as I have to wait and queue up with gold rushers as well!)
If you have a trademarked name, Facebook is allowing you to register your trademark in advance of the Friday AM stampede at ---> http://www.facebook.com/help/contact.php?show_form=username_rights. (note: you will need your trademark registration number to do so). However, you will not be able to do the same for your personal name. So if someone else has your same name, I would suggest you set your clocks for 12 midnight to beat all those folks to the Vanity URL gold rush!
See you in them thar' hills!