Vanity URLs Make Facebook More Popular than Ever
Article by George Norman
On 15 Jun 2009
The weekend kicked off with a very interesting offer for the Facebook user: the option to turn the URL for your Facebook profile from something like “id=123456789” to a personalized vanity URL. The option to select your own vanity URL was launched by the free-access and very popular social networking site Facebook on the 13th of June at precisely 12:01 EDT and as it turns out it was a big hit with users all over the world.

Just to put things in perspective, here I are some figures related to the Facebook vanity URL release:
- A total of 345,000 users grabbed their personalized Facebook profile URL in the first 7 minutes.
- In the first quarter of an hour over 500,000 users joined in the vanity URL dance.
- The number of Facebook users who got their personalized URL reached the 1 million mark within 1 hour.
- In the following 12 hours the number of registered vanity URLs grew to 3 million.
- On average, 550 vanity URLs were registered per second.

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According to Facebook spokesperson Larry Yu, the social networking site was expecting users to embrace this new option and consequently prepared to handle the surge in traffic. “We saw high traffic, higher than usual traffic. Planning allowed us to handle that traffic well,” said Larry Yu in an interview for Bloomberg.

The planning that Larry Yu mentioned above included designing a very simple web page (visit here) to register your Facebook username, removing some resource consuming features and even preparing to change the Facebook homepage to the username page. Fortunately enough Facebook did not have to implement the latter.

“When your friends, family members or co-workers visit your profile or Pages on Facebook, they will be able to enter your username as part of the URL in their browser. This way people will have an easy-to-remember way to find you. We expect to offer even more ways to use your Facebook username in the future. Your new Facebook URL is like your personal destination, or home, on the Web. People can enter a Facebook username as a search term on Facebook or a popular search engine like Google, for example, which will make it much easier for people to find friends with common names. Your username will have the same privacy setting as your profile name in Search, and you can always edit your search privacy settings,” explained Facebook’s Blaise DiPersia.

But with the “first come first serve” policy that Facebook employs, you can bet that the best vanity URLs are already taken – even Default.



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