Today (Starting at 12:01 a.m. EDT on Saturday, June 13) Facebook usernames became active. What this means, is that if you want to give out the address to your profile page to someone, you can now give them an easy to remember name, rather than the old profile ID.
You only get to choose your username once, and it cant be changed or transferred, so you MUST choose wisely.
On the Facebook blog:
Username selection is now live at http://www.facebook.com/username/. Remember, choosing a username is optional and will give you a distinct Web address for your profile. It will not change the name that appears on your profile, in search or elsewhere on the site.
Facebook go on to say:
Your new Facebook URL is like your personal destination, or home, on the Web. People can enter a Facebook username as a search term on Facebook or a popular search engine like Google
This is pretty interesting, as FB is a really powerful domain name, it could be great to have a keyword or phrase as your username for one of your Facebook pages, or even your own username. Surely it will display a URL from Facebook in the search results for that term somewhere, and any little bit helps right. Even if the username pages are not any help for google searches, time will tell if it will help with internal searches on Facebook, and hey, if you give out your profile to clients, wouldnt it be cool if they could see your product/services etc in the name, more professional I think.
Usernames allow public entities to easily promote your presence on Facebook with a short URL (http://www.facebook.com/companyname). This username can be used in your marketing communications, company website and business cards.
I was able to get: facebook.com/searchengine.optimization.expert for myself, so I can now give that out for my personal profile. I also have loads of Facebook pages, and tried securing names for them, but was not able to for all. At the moment, FB knows there are going to be loads of people trying to secure names for their pages, so they have set limits.
The limits are temporary, and are to allow pages with more than 1000 fans, that were created before 31 May 2009, to get first dibs.
Check out the rules here: http://www.facebook.com/help.php?page=900
If you are new to Facebook, you will only be able to choose a username for yourself on or after June the 9th, 2009.
So….get cracking! Go out and secure your names, using the keywords that you want to be found with….let me know what you choose.