According to this post on AllFacebook, Facebook.com will finally be launching custom usernames for vanity URLs for Facebook accounts on Friday at Midnight (well, technically it’s Saturday, June 13 at 12:01am). What this means for you – go grab your name, your brands’ names, and several other names that you think might be valuable. Of course, you may need to create several accounts in order to have multiple URLs, but such is the life of a grayhat.
The guidelines for Facebook username URLs:
- Usernames must be at least five characters long.
- Usernames can only contain letters, numbers, or periods.
- Usernames will only be available in Roman characters at launch.
Here are some links that verify and describe the details at Facebook. Check them out:
- official post on the Facebook Platform page
- official blog post on the Facebook Developers Blog
- Facebook.com’s countdown page (this page is the best!)
Uh oh. It looks like Facebook has gone and done something to mess up our plans of vanity URL world domination. According to this post on InsideFacebook.com:
Facebook isn’t allowing transfers in order to undercut the rampant squatter market that would otherwise develop – although there will still definitely be cases of abuse. Facebook says that generic words like “flowers” or “pizza” will not be available as usernames, though we’re not sure how exactly those rules will work.
Facebook says that 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 we’ve taken to prevent abuse or ’squatting’ on names.”
Well, crap. That’s not going to be fun for you who were planning on creating multiple accounts between now and Friday. However, if you are an SEO who has already been planning for this, you probably already have several Facebook accounts. 😉
While this may not be as crazy as the landrush for Twitter usernames over the past few months, it’s going to be fun to watch. I wonder who will find a way around the rules. I wonder who will get some of these awesome names (or if anyone will find a way around the 5-character minimum and/or the restriction around highly generic keywords):
- I could go on…
Well, good luck everyone. Let’s play fair. Or at least let’s pretend to. 🙂
Update: I found some more links that you might find interesting and/or useful, especially if you are working with clients who have protected brand names:
- Help Center: Usernames
- Help Center: Usernames (Eligibility)
- Help Center: Facebook Pages (Guidelines & rules for companies)
- Notice of Intellectual Property Infringement (Non-Copyright Claim)
- Preventing the Registration of a Username (link)