This evening Facebook added the ability to display your alternative names. Apparently the alternative feature existed previously but I personally was unaware of it. The difference is that now you can actually display that name and as Sophia Huang writes, you can also make it “visible on your profile, in search results, in friend requests, and on other places on the site.” One group that will find this extremely useful is multi-lingual groups, something Sophia Huang happens to be a member of.
Configuring your username is pretty easy. All you need to do is visit your account settings page and click on “change” next to the “Name” section. You then can type in whatever you want into the “Full Alternate Name” space. I decided to use my alternative name of “Nicky Biggs”, a street name that I tend to go by within my neighborhood (I live in the D.C. hood … represent!).
This will be useful for people trying to navigate the site and searching for their friends who have alternative nick names. The only issue now is for those users to search out the page and section that’s necessary for managing their name. Facebook has been trying to simplify their interface but with all the features in the site, that’s becoming more challenging to accomplish.
It will be interesting to see if Facebook can make things easier to manage while adding on things. There are many things they could improve. For example, I would imagine that clicking the name in this instance, from within the profile would be much easier than making two other clicks to the account settings.