Facebook Closed The Doors on Page Usernames


July 20th, 2009

So the landgrab came and went, you got your facebook username – didn’t you?

Most did, others didn’t.

I got mine - which is just my name. For some disgusting reason that I’ll never understand, others didn’t choose their names. Instead they grabbed buzzwords, keywords, trademarks and even other peoples names.

One instance of the stupidity that some people went to was for one user to set their username to “default.aspx”.

Yeah, yeah, I get the joke. Ha ha. Its the default page of a .NET web application. Of course only programmers and technology folks are going to get this – so if you hang around with anyone outside of this industry they are going to look at you funny.

It has been said that some people have grabbed the valuable keywords in order to sell the account later – but most people have actually built up a personal account already and then done set their username. What this means is that whomever purchases the account will then have 210 random friends, a tonne of useless and unrelated notes and updates along with numerous pictures of the previous owner on nights out on the tiles.

Effectively you have a mess. Which devalues the keywords dramatically and hence makes buying the account a non-starter.

For those that are not going to sell their accounts – they just thought it would be cool to set their username to something random like “musicnews” when they seem to exhibit no musical interest at all. On top of that, their privacy settings are set to only show the account to friends.

This makes me frown a lot.

The only reason to set your username to musicnews should be for SEO reasons. The keywords are valuable if your contents are musically inclined.

I’m sure, down the line, a lot of people will abandon their accounts and create new ones with their actual name as their username, so that they’d get:

http://www.facebook.com/theiractualname

The fad will fade, they’ll realise that their username is stupid and jump ship. Since Facebook doesn’t allow you to change your username after you set it, they are effectively forcing these people into creating another account. Maybe this makes their stats look good, but it costs them money to store the extra data – so they are getting bitten for no gain.

This in turn leaves valuable usernames dormant. They could have been put to better use on user pages – which are usually places that would actually warrant the keyword attention.

Take MusicReviewZone.com‘s Facebook page, here, as an example:

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Music-Review-Zone/93777063419

I wanted to make this pages username :

http://www.facebook.com/musicnews

… as the keyword value passed through to the domain would re-enforce that my site provides music news. Hence – great SEO. Instead, someone called Roberta Ferguson from Cleveland, with her locked down account has the username. Brilliant value.

When the username landgrab became available in April, pages with less than 1000 fans were excluded. Facebook stated at the time that these pages would be able to set their usernames after June 28th. That date has come and gone yet Facebook is still exluding them from setting their usernames.

So what gives?

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3 Responses to “Facebook Closed The Doors on Page Usernames”

  1. Jacko says:

    You are forgetting that Facebook blows anyways…

    And they’ll rob you on their advertising platform.

  2. Screw says:

    Screw facebook. Its a big time wasting pit of shit.

  3. It has been said that some people have grabbed the valuable keywords in order to sell the account later – but most people have actually built up a personal account already and then done set their username. What this means is that whomever purchases the account will then have 210 random friends, a tonne of useless and unrelated notes and updates along with numerous pictures of the previous owner on nights out on the tiles.

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