While the Facebook username landrush officially opened two weeks ago, Pages with under 1,000 fans or created after May 31 still haven’t been allowed to get vanity URLs. However, Facebook is lifting that restriction this weekend: starting at 11:59pm ET on Sunday, June 28, all Facebook Page owners will be able to obtain vanity URLs for their Pages.
Why did Facebook not allow all Page owners to get usernames at the same time as everyone else? Essentially, to mitigate squatting. Facebook wants to make sure every vanity URL that gets registered in the system is authentic, and put this restriction in place to prevent speculators from creating thousands of Pages in order to squat on vanity URLs. However, this rule has delayed legitimate Page owners with less than 1,000 fans from getting a vanity URL for over two weeks as well.
Millions of names have been reserved since Facebook opened up username registration. However, so far, username squatting has not been a widespread problem. Nevertheless, now that every Page is getting turned loose, it wouldn’t be surprising to see a fresh round of aggressive Page owners testing Facebook’s policy limits this weekend.
Update: Previously, this article said usernames would be available at 12:01am ET on Sunday. Facebook now says usernames will be available at 11:59pm ET on Sunday night.