Feeds

Facebook to offer vanity URLs

Who wants facebook.com/imceobitch?

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

Facebook is letting users customize their profile URLs starting this weekend. Vanity web addresses will be dispensed on a first-come-first-served basis, replacing the random string of digits used by the social networking site now.

Starting Saturday, June 13 at 12:01 a.m. EDT (4:01 a.m. GMT), Facebook users may procure a custom username for their profile's URL by heading to www.facebook.com/username/.

Image courtesy Facebook

Custom usernames will be limited to alphanumeric characters or a period (".") and must be at least five characters in length. While the change doesn't appear mandatory at present, keep in mind there's Facebook's 200 million-plus users to compete with over potentially popular handles. God help ye, John Smiths of the world.

Facebook names will appear on the profile's URL as something like: www.facebook.com/jonathan.trundle/.

The idea according to Facebook's official blog, is to make it easier for friends, family, co-workers, and even search engines to find your profile without extraneous scouring of the site. Putting the user's handle on the URL isn't exactly a new concept for social networking sites (hello Twitter and MySpace). But, hey, Facebook's the biggest of them all.

Here's the catch: Once a user modifies their URL, it cannot be changed or transferred. That's likely an attempt to cut down on folks attempting to flog a popular or celebrity profile name on eBay. Facebook also says users who sign up for a custom page after May 31 or a user profile after today may not be able to sign up for a username immediately as a means of preventing URL squatting.

While the company provides a link to prevent protected trademarks from being registered as usernames, there's no word if its taking steps to prevent names of celebrities and public figures from being scooped up by impersonators. That should make things rather interesting come Monday. ®

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Amazon Reveals One Weird Trick: A Loss On Almost $20bn In Sales
Investors really hate it: Share price plunge as growth SLOWS in key AWS division
Bose says today is F*** With Dre Day: Beats sued in patent battle
Music gear giant seeks some of that sweet, sweet Apple pie
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.