The Countdown To The Facebook Username Land Rush Begins

It appears that today is the day of reckoning for Twitter and Facebook users. While Twitter is busy handling signed integer issues with their tweets, Facebook users are on standby while they wait to get their Facebook username. The form for selecting your Facebook username will open up at 12:01 AM EDT. You can view what time the form will open for your time zone by visiting the form. If you are on the east coast then don’t plan on staying out late tonight because you have to get your Facebook username, right?

Many journalists have been fortunate to have their usernames reserved (I happened to be one of the lucky ones) and while some are calling it unfair, it’s an important moment for many users are hoping for an easy to remember username. Journalists that were part of the early group are currently limited to the username “[firstname][lastname]”. For example Facebook gave me the username nickoneill although I was hoping to grab nick since no Facebook employees have appeared to grab it yet.

So why is a username so important? The most important reason is the search engine optimization that’s available by getting a good username. Additionally Facebook is expected to begin implementing new features which include username status tagging (similar to @ replies on Twitter) and mobile support for usernames. Want to become a friend of someone you just met a conference? Simply text “add nickoneill” to 32665 to become a friend of mine.

Want to become a fan of the AllFacebook page? Text “fan allfacebook” to become a fan. We could soon see television commercials that encourage users to become a fan of their brand via the simple Facebook mobile codes. Usernames simplify the Facebook mobile interface, and may soon make Facebook messages more like Twitter. So what else are the Facebook usernames useful for? Well aside from completely redefining the way users interact with the service, not much else!

So will you be spending your Friday night waiting next to your computer to get your Facebook username? Do you think your username is a really important thing?