Facebook Relaxes Vanity URL Conditions
Article by George Norman
On 29 Jun 2009
About two weeks ago the development team behind popular social networking site Facebook announced to the world that it will allows users to pick their very own vanity URL. The introduction of this feature, which by the way turned out to be quite popular, was meant to make it easier for others to find you online by turning your old Facebook profile URL from something like “id=123456789” to something like this.

In order to prevent URL squatting, Facebook implemented a few rules – such as for example the fact that vanity URLs are not available to Facebook profiles set up as of June 9th; or for example the rule that you cannot get a vanity URL unless you have at least 1,000 fans. You need not worry about these rules anymore as Facebook has announced it is dropping them. You will be able to claim your Facebook vanity URL even if your profile was created on or after June 9th; you will also be able to claim your vanity URL even if you do not have 1,000 fans (the limit has been dropped to 100).


According to All Facebook, by dropping the number of fans required to get a vanity URL from 1,000 to 100, a total of 429,000 profiles are now eligible to take advantage of the new feature. Just to put things in perspective, 429K equals 30% of all Facebook pages.

The curious thing is that initially Facebook dropped the limitation from 1,000 to 25 and then raised it up to 100. It is a pity for those users who have more than 25 fans, but less than 100 – a total of 401,000 Facebook pages are in this situation, meaning these users will not be able to get their vanity URL.

Here are a few bits and pieces about Facebook vanity URLs that you should know about:
- Generic names like “banana” or “pizza” are not available.
- Usernames are not transferable.
- Usernames must be at least 5 characters long. You can only use alphanumeric characters or a period.
- Be careful what username you select as it is yours forever.

Tags: Facebook, Vanity URL
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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