We heard rumors about this for at least the last couple of weeks, but today, Facebook finally announced that it will allow users to pick and choose their own vanity URLs. Instead of http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=432123451, you will now be able to pick something like http://www.facebook.com/ihazvanityurl as your URL. Facebook will open this new feature up at 12:01am EDT on Saturday (that’s 9:01pm PDT on Friday). At that time, Facebook users will see a notice on their homepages with instructions for how to obtain their new URLs.

Rules and Regulations

Here are the rules for the new URLs, which will also apply to the usernames of all newly registered accounts:

  • at least five characters
  • alphanumeric characters (A-Z, 0-9) only (plus a period or full stop)
  • users can only choose a single new username/URL for their profiles and each of the Pages they administer (a separate FAQ for Page administrators is available here)

Facebook reserves the rights to “remove and/or reclaim any username at any time for any reason,” and will work with intellectual property rights holders to prevent users from claiming trademarked terms as their usernames. This will also give brands a chance to differentiate their ‘real’ Facebook profiles and pages from potential impostures (even though many of them would probably just be fans).

Obviously, there will be quite a landrush on Saturday, and given how popular Facebook has become, we expect that a lot of users will line up for their vanity URL on Friday night. So if you have a relatively common name, you might want to put this time and date in your calendar.

frederic lardinois