Wanna have your own personal URL link at facebook? That’s got to be on the most wanted list of facebook users. Now you can have it. As of 12:01 a.m. EDT on Saturday, June 13, you’ll be able to choose a username on a first-come, first-serve basis for your profile and the Facebook Pages that you administer by visiting www.facebook.com/username/.
Username selection is now live at http://www.facebook.com/username/. Remember, choosing a username is optional and will give you a distinct Web address for your profile. It will not change the name that appears on your profile, in search or elsewhere on the site.
So if you use to have these ugly link as a URL to your profile, now you can customize it to your own taste.
Your new Facebook URL is like your personal destination, or home, on the Web. People can enter a Facebook username as a search term on Facebook or a popular search engine like Google, for example, which will make it much easier for people to find friends with common names.
When you open www.facebook.com/username/, you’ll see this screen that will guide you to get the URL you want. Since it’s a first in first out, you better hurry if you want to get your name. Especially if you’re name is so popular that like next 1000 people have the same name as you. This happened to Michael Arrington, one of the blogger at TechCrunch who was one of the unlucky ones who didn’t get the name he wanted, even though he originally broke the story. Knowledge, it seems, isn’t always power.
The rule of thumbs still works for me. Just take your name to make it easier for people to find you. You can find me here, facebook.com/SartikaKurniali.
It’s like battling your way to get the email address you want. So not surprisingly, people are already trying to sell their Facebook vanity URLs as well. The service Assetize. Although Christine Shipley of San Francisco thinks it the other way. Rather than take facebook.com/christine.shipley or even facebook.com/shipley, she went with facebook.com/default.aspx. Yes, her profile could easily be confused as the default landing page for Facebook. Though, we geeks and savvy users will know that the facebook is built in PHP, and not ASP, which the .aspx extension define.
Christine Shipley could did it because facebook usernames will be available in basic text forms, and you can only choose a single username for your profile and for each of the Pages that you administer. Your username must be at least five characters in length and only include alphanumeric characters (A-Z, 0-9), or a period or full stop (“.”). For the mean time usernames are currently available only for Romanized text as Facebook finds it way to support non-Romanized characters in the future.
It’s a one time shot so think carefully about it. Once it’s been selected, you won’t be able to change or transfer it. If you signed up for a Facebook Page after May 31 or a user profile after today at 3 p.m. EDT, you may not be able to sign up for a username immediately because of steps facebook have taken to prevent abuse or “squatting” on names.
Be sure to check out this FAQ for answers to common questions, and if you’re an administrator of Facebook Pages, get more details here. If you want to ensure you keep the rights for a trademark or other protected name, contact facebook here.
One the other side, this will kill who ever develop the Memorable Web Addresses for Profile, Page or Group apps at facebook. They will eventually loose their users, including me. Well, facebook’s updates will kill apps who previously provided those services.