Saturday, June 13, 2009

Vanity URLs: Facebook Username Gives In

"What's in a name?" is a tired question that has been asked for years. And with the modern era's predilection for branding, a name is almost as important as the product in terms of perception and cognizance. In response to this, Facebook has finally made available the feature of customizing profile usernames. Customize your Facebook username now.

Also called vanity URLs for the conscious, being able to personalize user names ticks the fancy of self-centered individuals which compose much of Facebook users. :) Kidding aside, being able to uniquely label oneself is akin to branding. It provides easy-to-remember URLs for networking purposes compared to the cryptic-alphanumeric combination string previously given. Check this example:
Facebook enabled this feature today - June 13, 2009 at exactly 12 noon. My online community at was pretty aware of it and was posting a count down by the minutes. Talk about excitement. I was one of them, by the way.

And the clock stroke 12nn. After clicking a button to confirm my inclination for a personalized username, I was offered different options including one with a 'dot' (.) between my first name and last name. Although my primary email is of that nature, I realized that an extra 'dot' syllable can confuse some potential future friends upon networking. Simply said, I settled for my full birth name without the dot:
One issue to be immediately expected from this is the sudden rush for 'cool' usernames. Good for you if you can get one Facebook hasn't tag as a "generic word." Facebook has warned about generic words not being available as usernames. They did not release a list for this but 'flowers' and 'pizza' were mentioned as among them. Be careful with copyrighted brands as well, since in essence, they are...uhm, copyrighted.

Ok, you did not vie for the or However, you still cannot get your Why? because somebody beat you to it. Your creepy neighbor at the other side of the street has planned pretty much about this long beforehand as a form of revenge when your dog left a poop on his lawn. He just grabbed your well-loved username and you cannot do anything about it.
Well, ok, Facebook user name general information page states that there is still that possibility (however minute; perhaps even if you have the same first name and last name)

Facebook reserves the right to remove and/or reclaim any username at any time for any reason.
Be careful as well by checking the spelling of your intended username before clicking confirm. There is no changing/editing user names after that. It also requires at least five characters and can only contain letters, numbers, and a period.

Have you customized your profile username? Check more details about Customizable Facebook Usernames here.

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