We’re just hours away from the launch of Facebook vanity URLs. Many have complained at the preferential treatment given to some influentials and bloggers to get the names they want. After asking, I was offered my first and last name, but Facebook refused to give me and other bloggers the names we would have preferred. I turned them down – I’m pretty sure my full name will be available (and if not there are legal ramifications if the person does not have my name). In my case I was hoping for “Jesse” since I’m currently using that on Twitter. After all, Loic got his first name.
It would appear there may be reason for that. I’m noticing in just the past few hours Facebook employees seem to be coming out from the woodwork and snagging up the remaining first names available as fast as they can. It would appear others are noticing, too. For instance, “Jesse”, just in the past 2 hours or so is now occupied by Facebook employee, Jesse Dwyer. What’s odd is that in the last few hours there was even an account called “God” on Facebook. While it seemed to break the 5 character rule, it would appear Facebook has corrected and removed the account. I wish I had a screenshot (although I do have witness of at least one other Twitter user that saw it).
With Facebook employees being given preferential treatment, will there even be reason to try and get the names we want? It would appear that, to get the “official” names we want we have to work for Facebook. In the meantime I’ll be using my SocialToo Vanity URL – at least I get analytics from that. (really, check it out – we just launched it today!)
I’ll be on live tonight to cover it at http://ustream.tv/channel/thesocialgeek. We’ll see if we can get others to join in with us.