Feeds

Facebook to offer vanity URLs

Who wants facebook.com/imceobitch?

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

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. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
Amazon says Hachette should lower ebook prices, pay authors more
Oh yeah ... and a 30% cut for Amazon to seal the deal
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
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
Chips are down at Broadcom: Thousands of workers laid off
Cellphone baseband device biz shuttered
Feel free to BONK on the TUBE, says Transport for London
Plus: Almost NOBODY uses pay-by-bonk on buses - Visa
Twitch rich as Google flicks $1bn hitch switch, claims snitch
Gameplay streaming biz and search king refuse to deny fresh gobble rumors
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
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.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.