Facebook vanity URL gold rush, coming soon

If you have a Facebook account and are tired of having to tell all your friends and strangers you meet on the street to visit you at http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=847O63782 or whatever, things are about to change. At 12:01 am Eastern Standard Time this coming Saturday, 13 June (5:01 am in the UK), you will be able to sign up for something a bit more manageable, say, http://www.facebook.com/joetheplumber.

As detailed on the Facebook blog, "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."

Gone are the days when you would meet people at a party or club or bus stop and have to find a pen to write on their arm your randomly assigned nine-digit Facebook member code. Now it's easy--you can just tell the world that you are "'joetheplumber'--no spaces--on Facebook!"

The company calls these personalised names "Facebook usernames". For people worried about privacy, we are assured that "[y]our username will have the same privacy setting as your profile name in Search, and you can always edit your search privacy settings."

But you'll have to hurry if you want to get Facebook to do for you what MySpace and other social-networking sites have done for some time. Barack Obama got in early (as did many other non-ordinary citizens and businesses). His Facebook username? barackobama, of course!

The last thing you'd want is to lose your preferred vanity URL to someone else in the stampede.

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86 Comments

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I didn't join the masses when they invented those horseless carriages that run under their own power, and I didn't buy the hype of those little boxes with moving pictures in them, either. I'll have none of this so-called "advancement in technology", thankyouverymuch, I like things to stay the same forever.

So many geeks here getting all negative about it ... it's a good thing. Yes, it may only be for friends, but that doesn't mean a username isn't WAY easier!!!!!

Jeez... get a life people, and stop acting like 70 year old's who can't stand change!!!!

Getting a username isn't my problem with facebook. My problem is the fraudulent account someone made for me. I've emailed facebook 2 times, and got about 5 of my friends to complain that it isn't really me. I refuse to have a facebook account and I am quite unimpressed that i haven't even had a reply from them saying they're investigating my problem yet.

em_te said,
That your fault for not signing up for Facebook earlier to reserve your name.

That's stupid. I don't WANT facebook. I don't NEED facebook. Why should i HAVE to sign up for it? That's a stupid comment. It's my fault someone's impersonating me? Reality check for you man.

What I did was abbreviate my last name with a single letter. That way, all they have to do is type my first name and the first letter of my last name in the search box and they find me without any issues. I'm usually the first or second person on the list. Either way, I have my privacy settings set so that people can see my profile picture. It just makes things easier when people can visually verify who they're adding as a friend.

Facebook employees have had the first pick of these names, for a while. Type in things like "Tom", "James" etc, without the quote marks, after "www.facebook.com" and it'll show that Facebook employees have bagged some of the more common names.

know what sucks? having a pseudo-famous web personality... i almost never get Rolith anymore on any popular gaming or social network...

Yes, just like MySpace.

Which is why Facebook is now going to suck.

Just when I was happy about how better is to MySpace, they ruin it...

Chris4 said,
Yes, just like MySpace.

Which is why Facebook is now going to suck.

Just when I was happy about how better is to MySpace, they ruin it...

I don't see what's wrong with this?

They aren't going to force you to pick a username, so how does it bother you if others have the option of doing so?

It just makes it more convenient to some of us but doesn't change anything for you. Therefore, I don't see what's wrong with it?

Chris4 said,
Yes, just like MySpace.

Which is why Facebook is now going to suck.

Just when I was happy about how better is to MySpace, they ruin it...


+999999!!! I was thinking the same before the home page & profile changes! Hate them until now!

smooth_criminal1990 said,
bout time, Bebo had a similar sort of thing years ago :P


We can tell what your username is going to be.

Frank Fontaine said,
htaccess files are not used for that purpose. It is probably done with SQL

Then what is processing the HTTP request re-write?

This isn't any more good...
If there are two "jonathan2080_sexy", what will Facebook do?
By giving IDs like numbers, you make sure they are unique.

It's not like I've seriously given my Facebook ID like this, it was pretty transparent to me until now...

May be Facebook will determine than the first jonathan2080_sexy is not too sexy after all, hence will not grant the url.

It's big news because it involves everyone who uses Facebook.
You might want to research how many people use Facebook.

Oh goody, Facebook is solving more problems that don't exist. The people who work there must be as bored as the people registered for the site.

I wonder if this will make it easier for spammers to find you, and then try to add you:

"www.pizzahut.com has requested to be your friend"

Their CAPTCHA better be up to the task.

Marshalus said,
Sounds like I know what I'll be doing at 11pm on Friday.

Me too!

I don't use it as much, but it will be nice to have a pretty URL to share in case I need so.

i had a friend once giving me this facebook name but i don't have a facebook account so didn't do anything with it ... what happened with the good old phone # or ... email or something that everyone has .....

Luckily for me I have a very rare last name so Im extremely easy to find on facebook for anyone who knows my last name and wants to find me.

Do people really give their facebook accounts out like phone numbers? It'd be a cold day in hell before I added someone to my account that wasn't a friend. Still, if that's your cup of tea it's a handy feature to add.

Funny you say that bud you̢۪d be surprised what you hear on the clubs and bars these days, I asked a girl for her number she said add me on Facebook, I was quite confused by that - genuinely!

Ya, thats the new tactic to be more breezey. Instead of asking for her phone number, you'd make her more comfortable by asking to add her on Facebook, then write her a message and after she makes sure you are not some kind of a freak she'd gve you her cell number and if you are lucky - to go out together next weekend :)

After all even the dogs are on Facebooks nowadays!

Unimatrix Xero said,
ohhhhhhhhhh usernames, whatever next... total waste


Its not a bad idea, but it sure isn't the end all this article makes it out to be. I will signup but don't think it will change the way I use Facebook at all.

I hate the idea. It's making Facebook more like MySpace, which I hate. Facebook was grown up - you just searched for somebodies name to find them, no tacky personalized URL, no personalized names like xXBeckyBabyXx, it was all neat and tidy. This is a very bad move from Facebook in my opinion.

Chris4 said,
I hate the idea. It's making Facebook more like MySpace, which I hate. Facebook was grown up - you just searched for somebodies name to find them, no tacky personalized URL, no personalized names like xXBeckyBabyXx, it was all neat and tidy. This is a very bad move from Facebook in my opinion.


+1

Chris4 said,
I hate the idea. It's making Facebook more like MySpace, which I hate. Facebook was grown up - you just searched for somebodies name to find them, no tacky personalized URL, no personalized names like xXBeckyBabyXx, it was all neat and tidy. This is a very bad move from Facebook in my opinion.

+99999999. Hate the new whats on your mind and people is starting to put names like: MaaRyy CutiE CooL total waste..

Yea I was very lucky to have caught the myspace stampede early and not get stuck with username12345. It was nice not to have to remember my myspace #(I rarely did remember it but thats beside the point..)

I've never ever given anyone my 9 didgit number to be honest. I just tell them to search "nathan ............." and they always find me. But I do agree, it's better like this.