Around 1:00pm today facebook announced that they will be offering users the ability to select vanity
URLs for their profiles and pages they administer. If you are unfamiliar, an example of a vanity URL is http://facebook.com/edieter, rather than the current long tail URLs that everyone possesses; http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/profile.php?id=10213726&ref=profile. There is significance behind this announcement seeing that the inclusion of vanity URLs will make common named users more identifiable within search engines, greatly increase the ease of sharing facebook profiles or page links, and add a personal element to facebook URLs. Currently a number of networks offer vanity URLs such as twitter, myspace, ilike, etc. Until this coming Saturday, facebook has only experimented with a limited number of vanity URLs for notable brands and publications.
Starting on June 13th @ 12:01 am EDT facebook will allow users to claim their URLs. By visiting http://facebook.com/username, users will have the ability to select their URLs by simply following the instructions. Also, facebook will be including a note on everyone’s homepage prompting them to follow the instructions:
“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 (“.”).”
Be forewarned that once you select a URL it is with you for life, no rewrites, retries or complaint submissions. Our recommendation would be to stay in and bring the party to you this coming Friday or show up to the festivities fashionably awesome with your new URL, because if there is a URL out there that you’re dying to have it probably won’t be available Saturday morning.
Find more information about the vanity URLs on the facebook blog