June 10, 2009, 7:43 AM — Facebook users, it's time to re-arrange your schedule for this Friday night (6/12/2009). You're going to want to be online at midnight ET (technically 12:01 AM Saturday morning). Why? Because that's when the Great Virtual Land Grab of Aught-Nine begins. Starting at midnight, you can register a 'vanity url' for your Facebook page. Instead of your page being at something like facebook.com/profile.php?id=123456789&ref=profile, it can be at facebook.com/john.doe.
The catch is that this new vanity URLs are being dolled out on a first-come, first-serve basis. That might not be a big deal if your name is Igor Kavishefskivich but when you have a name like Peter Smith, name variations go quick.
Here're the rules, courtesy of the Facebook blog:
- Usernames must be at least 5 characters long
- Usernames must be alphanumeric (a-z, 0-9) with the only exception being a period
- Usernames are permanent and non-transferable
- No obscenities allowed
- In order to prevent abuse, any new user profiles (created after 3 pm ET on June 9) won't be immediately eligible (they'll have to wait until June 28th)
Rule #3 is important because it prevents people from snapping up usernames and then trying to sell them.
In order to register your username you'll want to hit this link after midnight on Friday: http://www.facebook.com/username/
It'll be fun to see how well the Facebook servers handle this event. Talk about the ultimate stress test!
Good luck getting the name you want!