Almost 200 million people around the world will be busy boosting their vanity this Saturday, June 13th.
What are your plans for the day?
For those who haven’t yet guessed it, Facebook is offering Vanity URLs to all its members starting Saturday, 9.31 am India time. This would allow Facebook members to get customised URLs for their profiles and pages. Currently, the Facebook URLs appear as a string of numbers that are neither user friendly nor search friendly.
With this switch, Facebook profiles will become easily searchable and Facebook brand fan pages will become more accessible. And, we think it is a fairly strategic move by Facebook, considering the fact that some other sites in the domain, like Twitter, already have this feature.
What it means for Facebook Users and Marketers?
• Come Saturday, millions will vie for their preferred URL. Some will get, some will be disappointed and will have to settle for other options.
• For brand marketers with Facebook fan pages, it is a golden opportunity. They would want to secure the relevant URLs before a squatter does that, under all circumstances.
But what’s written in fine print?
Facebook has put in some restrictions to ensure that this exercise does not become a happy ground for cyber squatters. According to the FAQs published, a Fan Page must “have a minimum 1,000 fans as of May 31, 2009”, to be able to lay claim for a customised URL.
This is good news for some of the big brands with very popular fan pages, but bad news for start ups and smaller brands with less than 1000 fans.
So, what are the options available to brands with lesser fan base?
• Brands can protect their URLs by preventing their trademarks from being registered as usernames. All one has to do is fill up this form on Facebook.
• Wait till June 28th. Since according to a recent revelation, the 1,000 fan restriction will be lifted on this day. Details are still awaited though.
All in all, something to look forward to. Just keep your fingers crossed and wish that your URL is not taken by someone before you get hold of it.