Huge news out of Facebook yesterday. On Saturday June 13th at 12:01 AM, Facebook will allow users to choose a username. It will be on a first come, first serve basis so if you have a common name, it’d be wise to stay in Friday night (or connect via your web phone) and get your name picked the first chance you get. Even though my name is fairly rare (Adam Pieniazek), I’ll still be on Facebook right after midnight to ensure I scoop up a username with my full name.
Facebook Pages Get Usernames
Usernames will not be limited to individual profiles, but will also extend out to the Facebook pages for businesses and organizations. If you run a Facebook Page with a name likely to get scooped up, make sure you’re on Facebook right after midnight to protect your brand. A caveat is that to get a username for pages, the page will need to:
be live on Facebook prior to the May 31, 2009 cut-off date and have a minimum 1,000 fans as of May 31, 2009.
If you own the rights to a name, you can fill out a copyright violation form to alert facebook that someone is ingringing on your copyright. You can also take precautionary measures and prevent the registration of a trademarked username.
If you’re thinking of snapping up a generic keyword to help with your organization’s SEO, stop. Facebook will not allow the registration of generic usernames (pizza, flowers, etc.):
At this time, generic words are not available as usernames. Facebook encourages all users and Page administrators to create a username that closely matches the true identity of their name or business.
Use Your Real Name for Facebook Username
When signing up for a username for you Facebook profile or page, ensure it’s a good one as you will not be able to change your username. Dan Schwabel, the personal branding expert, advises that you do not get cute with your username and simply pick your real name to ensure people can find you.
It’s huge news from Facebook and will go a long ways towards Facebook getting more search engine traffic. It also means individuals and organizations will be able to find your Facebook profile that much easier so it is crucial that you keep it clean and professional. Best of luck everyone in snagging your desired username!
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