One of the irritating aspects of working within Facebook has always been the difficulty of passing on the address of your profile or Fan Page. Strangely enough, users have not found it especially user-friendly to print a nine-digit ID code such as id=123456789 on their business cards. A vanity URL facility has been provided by Twitter and MySpace for some time, and now Facebook has finally decided to open the door a crack.
To make it exciting, they’ve announced that the land-grab will begin at one minute past midnight EDT on Saturday, June 13th, so unless you’re on the West Coast you will have to stay up late. If you are on the West Coast, it will only be 9:01 pm so you’ll have to interrupt your Friday-night drinking. Possibly. Go here at that time to participate in what is sure to be a frustrating experience (if your name is John Smith).
Oh, one final thing to remember: people have been excited because this also applies to Facebook Fan Pages too, but there’s a but. Your page has to have been live on May 31st and it must have had a minimum of 1,000 fans at that point. Presumably this is to prevent a lot of brand-grabs (like a land-grab only for brands – oh, never mind) but it’s going to lock out a lot of smaller organizations for the time being.