Two weeks ago, Facebook opened up username registration to all users, but only those Pages with over 1,000 fans before May 31. Tonight, the second wave of vanity URLs are being released to any Page with over 100 fans at 11:59pm ET (8:59pm PT).
To get your username, head on over to facebook.com/username this evening.
Why has Facebook added the restrictions that Pages must have over 100 fans to get a username? Simply, to prevent squatting. If Facebook didn’t place that restriction on Pages, it would be a lot easier for vanity URL squatters to create thousands of Pages and then register desirable usernames for them all. Now, the barrier to squatting is a lot higher.
As with usernames for Facebook users, Facebook has set up a few rules for choosing a username for your Facebook Pages:
- The names will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis starting at 11:59pm ET.
- Once a name is chosen, Facebook says it can never be changed or transferred – it will be your Facebook Page’s username and URL forever.
- Usernames must be at least 5 characters long, and will only be able to contain Roman characters.
- Facebook has restricted a lot of generic and trademarked usernames – so you won’t be able to pick things like “flowers” or “travel.”
It’s unclear if Facebook will ever allow vanity URLs for Pages with under 100 fans. Facebook is trying hard to preserve the authenticity of the brands and businesses behind Pages, so we wouldn’t be surprised if they don’t lift this restriction for a while.