One of the biggest differences between Facebook and MySpace is vanity URLs. Since MySpace started they have offered URLs to users that are in the format: http://myspace.com/yourusername. Facebook’s user name assigns a number based on the order of which someone joins. The format of Facebook’s URL is http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=[random number].
But starting tonight, Facebook users will have vanity URLs. Some companies and people have already been rushing for a one-word vanity URL. At 12:01AM Eastern Time tonight, users can grab a username of choice that will redirect to their profile. I know I’ll be near a computer when this event takes place.
Facebook will be preventing registration of usernames that infringes trademark. The social network recommends that you register a username that closely resembles your name.
This reminds me of when GMail first came out. The service was invite only and people actually traded tangible goods over a forum. In one case, I saw someone giving away a signed Kobe Bryant basketball just for a GMail invite. I bet that person is kicking themselves right now.
[via Facebook Blog]