Facebook Launches Usernames But Stumps Sabbath Observers

Jun 11, 2009 • 8:08 am | comments (3) by | Filed Under Social Search Engines & Optimization

Facebook announced they will be adding usernames for profile URLs. For example, my current Facebook URL is http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=528950782 but hopefully sometime early next week, it will become facebook.com/barryschwartz. In fact, it will, since Journalists don't have to wait for the Friday night deadline to secure their username on Facebook.

How does this apply to SEO? Well, for public profile pages that want to solve any online reputation management issues, a nice URL with your name in it, might help a bit.

So what is the issue? Well, as I tweeted the other day, Facebook is opening the first come first serve username registration at the same time Sabbath observers (like me) cannot login and reserve our names. Facebook said, "starting at 12:01 a.m. EDT on Saturday, June 13, you'll be able to choose a username on a first-come, first-serve basis for your profile and the Facebook Pages that you administer by visiting www.facebook.com/username/."

Do I think Facebook did this intentionally? No way. Probably just an oversight that will impact many Facebook users. Personally, I did not care that much, I just felt bad for some die hard Facebook users. Now, I can even less, being that I am a journalist and I reserved my name already. But I still feel bad.

Tamar FriendFeeded (is that a word) that she was upset she couldn't secure her name since she is also a Shabbath observer. Hopefully someone can help her out. I was told that /barry was already taken, I think by a Facebook employee.

A WebmasterWorld thread has SEOs and marketers already thinking of ways to use these username URLs for their benefit.

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

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