Facebook Tips: How to Get Your Facebook Vanity URL

This weekend, Facebook will make it possible for you to have a customized URL of www.facebook.com/yourname. But think carefully, because you only get once chance at this. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to change it tonight.

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Tonight, at 12:01 a.m. eastern (Saturday morning), Facebook will make it possible to create a customized link for your profile — affectionately known around the tech world as a vanity URL.

Right now, your Facebook URL appears something like this:

http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=123456789

After you modify your URL (I'll show you how), you'll have a much more clean-looking Facebook address, such as:

http://www.facebook.com/cglynch.

Twitter and LinkedIn have had this capability for quite some time. On those two services, you simply go to your account settings to modify it. But on Facebook, the capability has not been made available — until 12:01 a.m. eastern this Saturday.

It will be interesting to see if Facebook's core user base stumbles back early from the bars or stays in altogether tonight to snag their URL of choice. Not everyone will stay up for this privilege. But if you are in front of a computer at that time, log onto Facebook and then point your browser to www.facebook.com/username/.

According to a blog post by Facebook, you will be prompted to choose a username. Facebook may suggest some options (see screen shot below), or you can create your own if it's still available. If you have a "Joe Smith" type of name, you should try and get onto Facebook as close to the 12:01 a.m. time as possible.

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Your username for the vanity URL must be at least five characters long and be all alphanumeric characters (A-Z, 0-9).

A word of caution: Don't go for anything funny or cute. Play it straight. According to Facebook, "Once it's been selected, you won't be able to change or transfer it."

C.G. Lynch covers Facebook, Twitter, and Google for CIO.com. You can follow him on Twitter: @cglynch

Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.

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