Following many controversial updates and revamps of Facebook‘s user interface design, their team finally seems to get something right. Announcing Facebook Usernames, which basically will act as part of your profile’s slug/url.
Ideally, your username will make it easier for friends and family to distinguish you from a crowd of other “John Smiths.” It will also likely affect the ranking of your Facebook profile in a search, which is especially important for companies that utilize Facebook Pages. The positive is you will now have yet another method to shape your online identity. Negatives include possible exposure of private information if you’re not careful with how you do so. There are services on the web that provide overall online reputation management, and if this is a concern of yours (as it well should be), do check it out.
Facebook is, however, taking measures to prevent online squatting and a sort of online identity theft. The measures include being able to choose only one username per account and page, plus a mandatory wait period for member profiles and pages that have been created after a certain date (May 31st for Facebook Pages and June 9th for Facebook profiles). Will this stop imposters and squatters from doing their misdeeds? Likely not, but at least it seems that Facebook is starting to care about their users’ needs, for now.
Already Facebook is starting to receive lots of inquiries into issues relating to the upcoming added feature. Apparently for every step forward in user interface development, they’re taking about ten steps backwards, mostly in dealing with all of the issues they either didn’t think about beforehand, or just don’t care enough to handle. For example:
The time when usernames will become available is likely one of the most ridiculous times they could have chosen. Forget that it goes against founder‘s religious laws, but it is also extremely inconvenient for real companies and their representitives to secure their name. The other two questions really show a great amount of inconsideration from Facebook towards their users. They’re not allowing for human error, on a user’s part or their’s.
Despite all of this, are you excited for this long-awaited feature? Check out Facebook’s username countdown page (try it in Pirate English for some fun).
P.S. Doesn’t this remind you of an older social network we all used to use during high school? …