As it has be recently reported Facebook has opened their platform to accommodate users requests to make the url structure more user friendly and customisable similar to Twitter. Facebook has once again taken the lead from other social media in an attempt to increase its potential reach with a vanity option.
So the land rush was started with the staff from www.Mashable.com watching the action unfold from inside the Facebook offices in Palo Alto. The first 3 minutes was incredible with 200,000 user names registered, hitting 500,000 at 15 mins and around 1,000,000 unique users names within the first hour.
Remember there is over 200,000,000 users on Facebook who might be interested in a unique username this figure far outweighs domain registration. Recent figures from Name Intelligence around registration of the 5 most common domain extensions (com,net,org,info,biz) totalling only 108,200,000. This means that Facebook vanity usernames may actually be twice as valuable as domains based on supply and demand which explains why this username land rush is so important for social media and your brand.
The interesting side issue was that many known bloggers, journalists and brand trademarks were set aside and notified by Facebook before the land rush began that they had a reserved username. The important note here is that what about those with popular names such as John Smith or if you share a name with a celebrity, just because they are famous should they be automatically entitled to get a username?
The other important factor is that unlike many other social media sites Facebook clearly advise that once you select a username you cannot change it, if an account is closed down the username is taken out of the available list. The other big factor is that you don’t and will never own that username if Facebook decides in the future that they wish you not to use this or want to give it to another user they can take it away. So be careful choosing, be wise and remember it might only be a temporary username…
It is not clear yet if there is any true search engine benefit from having a keyword rich username or is it just another personal branding exercise, it is too early to tell.
A point to note is that all of these are personal accounts of the average Joe except for “ilovediamonds” and none are related to the company, person or product listed. So take advantage of the land rush and secure your user name free today at www.facebook.com/username
We would be interested to see what other interesting usernames have you noticed besides the ones listed above?