As of June 13th, the social networking giant Facebook released a new feature. They’re calling it usernames, but what they’re really offering are vanity URLs. For example, before taking advantage of this feature, a facebook profile or page URL looks something like this: http://www.facebook.com/pages/wwwgoodeaterorg/33898914300. Not exactly the easiest URL for potential customers to find. Personal profile URLs are even worse, as they don’t even contain the individual’s name. With facebook usernames, your facebook page or profile becomes simply www.facebook.com/[your brand here]. This is useful for a number of reasons. Facebook is undoubtedly the most powerful social network on the web, with over 200,000,000 active users. So if your company doesn’t already have a facebook page they’re missing out on a huge opportunity. After that initiative has been taken, it’s now extremely important to grab up the simplest username which is best related to your company or brand. 200,000,000 people means a lot of competition, and if you’re going to advertise effectively on facebook, it’s important that you reserve your username before anyone else does. It’s also worthwhile to mention that a unique, easy to find address could also increase views through Google as well as facebook because of the SEO value this could bring. Unfortunately, in order to change the URL of a facebook page, you’ll have to have one which has been active since before May 31st, 2009 and has more than 1000 fans. So new users are stuck until June 28th, 2009, when the service opens up to everyone. But either way, anyone who has a vested interest in increasing sales through the web needs to take advantage of this new service.
Here’s a link to Facebook’s FAQ page on usernames: http://www.facebook.com/help.php?page=896