When you first setup a Facebook account your Facebook page is assigned a direct URL that looks similar to this:

http://www.facebook.com/people/FirstNameLastName/123456789

The URL leads directly to your Facebook page and can be given out to friends, posted on other websites or used any of several other ways to help friends, family or others find your page directly.

In 2009 Facebook allowed users to pick vanity names. The use of vanity names made it easier to remember and give out your Facebook URL. For example, if your name is John Doe, you could request the direct URL of www.facebook.com/johndoe. Certain vanity names were reserved and popular names quickly disappeared as they were given on a first come, first served basis. Vanity names are not limited to names however, as many pages started popping up describing a user’s interests.  For example, the vanity name “FloridaFan” was already taken however “LoveTheGators” was still open at last check.

To setup your own vanity name, referred to as a username, log in to your Facebook account and look for the Account Settings option on the Account drop down menu (top right corner of your user profile).  The default Settings tab should be displayed and  you’ll notice “Username” is the second option listed.

Click on the change link next to username and you’ll be able to type in any username you are interested in obtaining. A word of warning here – once you select a username, it can only be changed one time. Choose wisely.

A few months ago when we started our Facebook business page we requested ‘TheComputerBoy’ as a username but were denied. Checking www.facebook.com/thecomputerboy at the time resulted in a page indicating no user found with that profile name.  An email to Facebook support and 48 hours later the username was ours.

If you pass out your custom URL often be aware of some privacy settings that may block your account from being displayed. For example, TheComputerBoy Facebook page was set to display only in the United States, to adults and had some other restrictions. These restrictions made any who browsed directly to www.facebook.com/thecomputerboy be presented with a Facebook login screen instead of our business page. After removing some of the restrictions our Facebook business page was again open to all viewers.

If you are interested in finding a specific page try a custom URL to see what happens.  We found pages for The White House, Microsoft, Nike and more. Interestingly the Apple App Store had a custom URL but Apple itself didn’t.

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