Facebook Vanity URLs and What Brands Need to Know

By now you’re probably aware of the great Facebook vanity username (or vanity URL) gold rush that takes place this Saturday (pssst: It’s actually late Friday. Don’t miss it by 24 hours) . If not, this screenshot explains it in a nutshell:

But what does it mean for brands and for social media marketing for fan pages? Here are answers to some of your questions:

Does this apply to fan pages?

Yes. You can now change your Facebook page URL from something like: http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/pages/Clever-Company-Namel/36396852117?ref=ts can be changed to http://www.facebook.com/CleverCompany. This makes it much easier to share your URL, and it will help you a bit with search engine optimization for your company name.

Are all fan pages eligible?

No. There are some basic requirements for fan pages:

  • Page must have been live on Facebook prior to May 31, 2009
  • Page must have a minimum of 1,000 fans as of May 31, 2009

UPDATE (6/11): Fan pages with fewer than 1,000 fans will now be able to get their URLs, also, but not until June 28.

Don’t some fan pages already have these vanity URLs?

Yes. But very few. Our clients Microsoft Windows and Intel both have them, but until now the luxury was reserved only for very large brands like those. Now you can get it, too, if you meet the requirements listed above. If not, you’re still out of luck.

So I need to jump on this quickly this weekend, just grab my company name?

Yes and No. Yes, you need to jump on it quickly. But no, don’t “just grab my company name.” Choose a username you will be happy with for the long term. Usernames are not transferable or able to be edited in any way.

Can I block someone from taking my trademark if I’m not ready to use it?

Yes. And you should. Facebook has set up a form to let you submit the mark you want to protect. I’d put that on today’s to do list if I were you. If you miss that, and someone takes your trademark as their username, this is the form you use to get your trademark back. More on protecting your intellectual property in all this is listed here.

Any other rules to keep in mind as we pick our username?

Yes. According to Facebook:

  • Usernames should be as close as possible to your public figure or business name (e.g. AshtonKutcher, PizzaHut). At this point, generic words like “marketing” or “pizza” are not available.
  • If you own the rights to a given name, make it your username so that others cannot obtain it.
  • Usernames can only contain alphanumeric characters (A-Z, 0-9) or a period (.).
  • Your username must adhere to Facebook’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities.

Hope that helps. Good luck this weekend. This is a big day in social media marketing. Don’t miss it.

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1 Comment
  • Mike
    Posted at 05:29h, 13 June

    Thanks for the info!

    I got my name as the username.

    You don’t need 1,000 Fans to get your own username.

    Your Facebook account must be registered before June 9 as the only criteria.


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