For a brief moment, the world was divided into the happy ( I got my Facebook Vanity URL!) and the not-so-happy ( Someone got there before me!). At least, it was for those who were concerned over this issue.
For some sense of reality, there were people out there who had to wait for their lunch because I -had- to be online at noon. I say -had to- because most in the know had already been forewarned that if I did not get my name, grumpiness would ensue.
For the uninitiated, the reason why some people were parked in front of their computers geeking out and getting an adrenaline rush for “no apparent reason”, FB was finally giving people the chance to get www.facebook.com/yournamehere, instead of the very clinical www.facebook.com/id=1230974952365, which is only great for those who qualify for the Guiness World Records for ability to remember strings of numbers, not so great for the other mere mortals like us.
What’s in a name?
Quite a bit, it seems. Judging from the groups of people around the world stalking their Facebook profile for the name grab. It was a moment that defined the importance of this particular social networking site that emerged in 2004 and has since taken different parts of the world by storm, especially in the more advanced markets.
For those who are into numbers, here are the official FB usage statistics. e.g impressive numbers like
- More than 200 million active users
- More than 100 million users log on to Facebook at least once each day
- More than two-thirds of Facebook users are outside of college
- The fastest growing demographic is those 35 years old and older
I would have liked it better if they could have shown some comparisons, but I am not entirely sure that would be allowed. Numbers on their own never ever really help. Great, FB have 200 million active users, but what makes it more significant is the fact that Comscore reports MySpace users total at around 125 million for some contrast.
What’s the BEST name?
A higher level of geekdom came from the bloggers and Tweeters who were discussing SEO issues and the likes:
- your-name-here or yournamehere? ( p.s only “.” are allowed, so this needn’t be debated at this time)
- your.name.here or yournamehere? (FB doesn’t seem to recognise the “.”, so both options are actually the same!)
- your.name.here or your.online.nickname.here ( A valid question, since this is the name you’re going to be stuck with, at least while FB reigns). Maybe THE.KING0101 semed like a cool idea when you were 21, not so when you’re nearing 45.
You know you’re a social media junkie if you were on the various platforms discussing with your friends which was the best name you ought to take. For some reason, Chris Brogan has refused to do a facebook.com/chrisbrogan. Someone (the other Chris Brogan) out there must be relieved. I bet he is also going to get a whole lot of uninvited hits because of his more famous counterpart.
You have our private geographic time zone details, use it.
I was glad that Facebook eventually gave instructions in our time zone. It’s ironic if they couldn’t, given that being able to figure out where a user is surfing in from and pointing them to appropriate front pages, is not even rocket science right now. Also, telling me that something is going to happen at 13th June, 12 am (EST), leads to a lot of uncertainty and googling for global clocks to do the necessary calculations.
Props to them also for making everything easily accessible and not buried within the account settings because there was no word on how we would eventually be able to choose our name.
All in all, I was impressed that Facebook (unlike Twitter might have) did not go down as feared. It was quick, painless, and clear (unlike their privacy filter settings or any other control feature for that matter), and as you can see, the outcome extremely satisfactory.
An interesting episode altogether!