Facebook has announced that they are going to let users choose a custom URL for their profiles and pages. This isn’t terribly huge news, it is something many other sites offer, but due to the size of Facebook’s user base people are interested in how it will play out. At 12:01 am EDT on June 13th, technically tonight on the west coast, you are going to be able to go to https://www.facebook.com/username and sign up for one.
Users will be able to use their real names now in the URL of their Facebook profile, which previously was long strings of numbers. This is great for people who often link to their Facebook page, either in email signatures or on a business card, etc. To get one for a Facebook Fan Page you needed to have at least 1,000 fans by May 31, 2009, to be allowed. The info page doesn’t state whether or not pages with fewer fans will be able to get them in the coming weeks or not, but I am hoping so.
People are worried about the Facebook URL gold-rush and I’ve even heard the term “face squatting” used to describe those who squat on a Facebook user name in attempts to keep other people from getting it, similar to a domain name squatter. If you have a common name you might not be able to get the URL “facebook.com/yourname” because someone else with the name might have already registered it. This isn’t so bad because there are a lot of variations on names and spellings so in a lot of cases this isn’t going to be a huge deal unless you have a super popular name. Facebook took precautions to prevent people from using some business names, and profanity in their usernames, but I’m sure people will find ways to trick it. For more information, you can check this news post on Facebook concerning the new usernames. I’ll sure be up tonight trying to register my name, who’s with me?