Facebook
7 Facts about Your Facebook Page Username
April 7, 2010
50
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Facebook usernames or “vanity urls” have come to my attention lately as I’ve received some questions about them. Facebook has naturally not released that much findable information about them, but they do have information if you know where to look for it. Every day I find new resources when searching the Facebook sphere. So. What about them Usernames and vanity URLS?

Vanity URLs and Facebook Page Usernames

Since quite a while back you have been able to create a username for your facebook page and for you personal profile. The username is most prominently visible in your URL. Thus they have commonly been called “vanity urls”. I have one vanity url for my page and one for my profile.

  • Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/jesperastromcom
  • Profile: http://www.facebook.com/jesperastrom (linkedin if you don’t want to see my party pics)

As you can see, the Facebook username for my page is jesperastromcom and the Facebook username for my profile is jesperastrom.

1. How to apply for a Facebook Username

If you want to apply for your own username you should log in to your Facebook account and go to the url:

Simple enough you select the name you want your URL to end with. But beware. You can only use one username, and it is almost impossible to change. (I say almost as I have seen examples of changes, but they say it is impossible. I guess it is a matter of how much potential cash you can throw at them.)

If you have set your Facebook Username for a profile, the page will look like this when you enter the username page to set your Facebook page username.

This might cause some concern as the “Set a username for your Pages” is quite invisible underneath the yellow box. Don’t worry. Just hit the “Set a username” text with a mouse click and select the page you want to set your name for.

2. What should you choose as your Username

Well, if you are a company or a brand I would try to get the brand name. If you have several generic words in your brand title you should probably stack them all together (stackthemalltogether) just as I did with my username. You are allowed to use A-Z, 0-9 and (.) dots. I would generally stay away from the dots if you don’t have a good reason for using them.

Don’t worry about someone else snapping the name with the dots cause as Facebook writes it;

“It is important to note that a period (“.”) does not count as a part of a username; therefore, names like johnsmith55, john.smith55, john.smith.55, etc. all constitute the same username.”

3. How to change a Facebook Username

It is virtually impossible to change the username of a Facebook Page. If you pay them enough money they will do it however. Contact your local Facebook representative and put some green on the table and they’ll help you out. If you are a business it is really worth the hustle to get a sales rep on your side from Facebook.

For personal profiles it is a bit easier. You can change your username once. Read that one more time. You can change your Facebook profile name ONCE. This means that if you change it once and want to change it again… well, then you are virtually screwed. I am sure the money talks here as well, but I suspect you shouldn’t push it without a hefty cushion…

Anyhow. this is how you do it. Click the “Account” tab in the top right of your screen. Find the “Account Settings” option. Then just browse through the display that pops up and find the Facebook Username. Click the “Change” option.

Change Facebook Username Option

There you go. Now, once you change it once, you cannot change it again. FOREVER NAMED!!! And if you have a Facebook page, that’s your problem from the get go… haha.. so I guess you should see this change as a bonus.

4. Copyright infringements (intellectual property)

If you get pissy that someone else has snapped your name I feel you should bite the dust and go cry to someone who cares. Facebook, who relies on this as their business, and are a legal entity in the US of Legal lawsuits, think differently. Thus, if you want to claim that someone has stepped on your toes and stolen your name, or is using your brand/intellectual property, you should go fill in the Username Infringement Form.

5. Transferring your Facebook Username to another page

Again, this is not possible to do for normal people without crazy reasons or cash for this purpose. The same holds if you delete a page. Your Facebook Username does not become available to register on a newly created profile. This is done as a “seccurity measurement”. This is fine for me. But if you are a bit creative like I am, you can find ways to fool the system.

One way is to file an infringement report against yourself. I have not tried this method, but who would argue. When you get the e-mail from Facebook (yes they e-mail you, or just nick the name from you and delete your previous stuff), you wouldn’t argue against the claim that you had made against yourself. Remember to use two different profiles when working in this dirty, shady and immoral manner.

6. Can Facebook nick my Username at any time they want

The simple answer to this is YES. The more complicated answer to this is that they do have the legal right and they do not care about any moral implications this might concern. They are Facebook and they can do whatever they want with Facebook. I think they are the only real people out there actually. They do what they want with their product. If their tests say its the right thing to do, then they do it. They don’t care if 10% of the members complain. Even though 10% of 400 million is a lot of people, it still wouldn’t hurt them.

However, Twitter has been quite evil in stealing names as well, so I guess it is a trend amongst the trendy. Twitter is actually worse as they steal names if you happen to have a name that someone else owns the top .com domain for. This means that if you are cucumber36 to all of your friends and someone registers that domain. The person is able to take your Twitter username in a snap. Thus you’ll have to live with being cucumber37 for the rest of your life. But hey… that’s twitter :). Facebook actually contacts you if the infringement isn’t to apparent.

7. Some other quick facts about Facebook Usernames

Now, as I wanted to use the number seven as it has proven to be my lucky prime number, I will list some quick questions and answers in a list here. If you have any other questions than the ones listed in this post. Please pass me an e-mail or write a comment.

  • Has your account been hacked and the hacker choose a username you don’t like… you can report this infringement here
  • If you find a username abusive you can report the person at the bottom left of the profile page “Report this page/user”.
  • Can I use wickeid characters from strange languages – Not at this time! (but they are looking into it)
  • If I change my username, does this effect my privacy settings – No, not at this time. (haha… that’s what they say.. my question is naturally… WHEN WILL THIS HAPPEN????)

I guess that’s it. Again, please ask questions if you happen to have any. All the best of luck with your Vanity URL.

Possibly related posts:

About author

Jesper Åström

Jesper Åström is a digital tactician hired by people and companies all over the world to help solve their digital challenges. He is also a liked educator and business creator and currently develops educational programs in collaboration with Hyper Island in Sweden and Singapore, whilst building businesses in Sweden and Japan. Subscribe to Jespers YouTube Channel

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There are 50 comments

  • [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Andreas Norman . Andreas Norman  said: Good shit :) RT @JesperAstrom: Update: 7 Facts about Your Facebook Page Username http://goo.gl/fb/U2sIl [...]

  • Victor Chan says:

    Hi Jesper,

    That’s a really good summary for Facebook Vanity URLs.

    This might be useful to know, a Facebook Page needs at least 25 fans before you can set a Vanity URL for it.

    Cheers.

    • Jesper Astrom says:

      A very good point that I forgot to write about. Thnx for improving the article.

      • Mike Iacovelli says:

        Very informative. I have a few pages for reunion groups (high school, college, fraternity), and we have
        members, not “fans”, and it a closed group. They all have under 100 members. None of these show up
        under the create username facebook feature. No option to create a name at all. Does a page
        need “fans” as opposed to “Members”? Does it need to be an Open group?

        You have posted more useful info here than in loads of facebook searches … thanks!

  • Carson Washington says:

    Most countries in the third world never respects intellectual property rights. piracy is so rampant in asian countries.,.;

  • there are so many intellectual property and copyright violations these days”;”

  • Sam says:

    I got a question: if I create a username for a persnal account (say “acme1″), then change it to something else ONCE (say “acme2″. Can I then create a business page, get the 25 fans and use my original personal username (“acme1″) for that business page?

    • Jesper Astrom says:

      Nope. Once you’ve set the username of your page, only Facebook can change this for you and you’ll have to pay them to do so :(

      • David says:

        i have not set a username for my page yet. can i chance my personal profile username, so i can use that name on my business page?

  • Ruben says:

    Hey Jesper, you mentioned that twitter will allow you to have the username if you own the top .com name. I’ve never seen that mentioned anywhere else. How does that work? There’s a username squatter using the name I want, but I own the top .com name. How would one go about contacting twitter about this? Thanks.

  • Heres a question I haven’t seen anywhere else. When you claim your vanity url, does the original url still exist as well? I know most people wouldn’t care, but I have my site listed with one of the ugly urls in hundreds of places and am not sure if I could find all of the listings to change them. Quite a few are in blogs that cannot be changed and I don’t want to leave broken links throughout the web for people that are trying to get to my fan page.

    • Jesper Astrom says:

      Hey,

      The old url still works. No problemos. On the other hand I would try to work with changing the URL in as many places as possible if you’re determined on getting your Facebook page to rank for a brand name. Facebook doesn’t use the cannonical for the nice url so it generates a duplicate content challenge. Not that severe though as Google is pretty good at understanding the difference in the two.

      Cheers,
      Jesper

      • Thanks Jesper! I couldn’t find that answer anywhere. This is music to my ears. I will try to fix as many as possible, but I don’t have to worry about people not being able to get to my page.

  • Ruben says:

    Hey Jesper,

    I have another question. Where do you go to contact a local Facebook rep & do you have any idea how much they would charge your company for something like this? Thanks.

  • Zara says:

    So…I had my facebook account hacked recently..and my username was changed…n it was changed the second time..so is there anyway i can delete the username….??

    • Jesper Astrom says:

      Yes. If it is your name it can be changed, if it is your vanity url it cannot be changed. Sadly, Facebook will not make these changes for personal accounts. (If you don’t have loads of money to pay them ;))

  • Keith says:

    Jesper

    Here is my questions. My page’s name is “VetteFinders – Corvettes for Sale” and whenever a status update is made, that appears as a link next to it. If I get the pagename vanity url of http://www.facebook.com/vettefinders, does that mean that the page name that I post as “VetteFinders – Corvettes for Sale” will also change to just vettefinders?

    “Once you do it, you can’t go back”

    Thanks,

    Keith

    • Jesper Astrom says:

      No. Only the vanity url changes. Not the page name. You cannot change the page name without contacting Facebook.

  • Christopher says:

    Jesper,

    I have recently secured a username with facebook for my profile facebook.com/userellaanns. I want to get a username for my page as facebook.com/ellaanns however, it wont even give me the option of setting a username for my page and I have 60 fans.

    I go to facebook.com/username and there is no option for setting a username for a page.

    Any help is greatly appreciated..

    Thank you,
    Christopher

  • Mic says:

    Hi Jesper

    Strange thing.I am the admin for a business site. I have over 25 fans (just).

    So now I have visited http://www.facebook.com/username to get a vanity url. It tells me my personal profile has been created, but under that there is nothing. No option to change my current long url for a shortened one of my choosing.

    If I refresh the page, a dropdown menu briefly appears asking me to fill check availability, but then it defaults back to the version without this question before I have the chance to do anything.

    Any thoughts/ideas?

    I haven’t seen this question asked or resolved anywhere else.

    Mic

  • Ashley says:

    Hi Jesper,

    How do you “…get a sales rep on your side from Facebook”? Who do you go to, where, and how? Thank you!

  • Dawn says:

    I know you said that you could (with money) transfer your user name from your account to your fan page, but my question is if I change my user name on my Facebook account can I then use that (old) user name for my fan page?

  • Jessica says:

    I am one of the people this article was made for. There is a missing letter in my page username. Am I understanding correctly that unless I have tons of money, i will not be able to make this change happen?

  • TechTeria says:

    Is it possible to change facebook username when we merge two facebook pages?

  • Scott says:

    Thanks Jesper, very helpful information.
    Question: When you say “pay them enough money” do you have any idea of aprox. how much?

    • Jesper Astrom says:

      It solely depends on your contact person at Facebook. If you have a good sales rep they can help you a lot even if you only buy some ads, if you have a bad one they won’t help you no matter how much you spend.

  • rahacoolemo says:

    it make me better but i can,t go on facebook yet.it,d a safecode for go on facebook.i,m from Iran.please help me that i can whit u.

  • Momoh joy says:

    I wnt 2 change my profile name bt av bn trying 2 do it bt is nt workin.nd i wnt 2 invite my facebook frnds 2 my 2go bt dey are sayin dat its incorrect nd dat is d name i av nd dat is why i wnt 2 change my username do u think its possible?

  • Abner says:

    I am continually searching online for strategies which will help me. Appreciate it!

  • Dale Ebberts says:

    You are a true artistic genius! Creative is the only way to BEGIN to describe this. A truly nice job!

  • Carol says:

    Hi Jesper,

    I’m so glad to have found your page and hope you can help me.

    I have a personal profile on Facebook and have made a business page. The business page has 26 ‘LIKES’ so I went to the ‘set up a username’ page to get the vanity url for my page. I didn’t change anything for my personal profile. Under the personal section was the bit for pages..In the drop down menu there were 3 choices : vintage jewel box : profile apps : http://www.facebook.com/pages/Vintage-Jewel-Box/204586942913024

    I selected the 3rd option assuming this was right as it was the long url page name I wanted to change, I requested vintagejewelbox and it was available. I know have an unnamed app page that looks like the page you have when you first join and my facebook page with the long url ?? Do I transfer my info, merge them or should I have selected the 1st option vintage jewel box? None of it seems clear and I will be gutted if I have used my vanity name in vain!

    Any help very much appreciated,

    Carol.

  • Ulrika says:

    Hi Jasper/Carol,

    I am happy to see some other people having the same issue as myself, but also sad to know that this seem to be a more common problem only because the instructions on Facebook when setting this up is less then userfriendly.
    I also did the same thing as Carol, selecting the long url when I was going to create the username for my business page only to be presented with the unnamed app page. I assume I should have picked someting else? and I am not sure how this can be amended to be linked to the proper page and I have gone through all the help files on Facebook in search of an answer, unfortunately without success. I have also looked for a way of contacting Facebook and that have proven more difficult than I would have thought.
    I’m so pleased I found your website in my quest of sorting this out and I hope, hope, hope you know of some way of sorting this as I would have as Carol used the username without it actually being linked to the business page.
    Any ideas?

    Ulrika, a gutted inexperienced Facebook user

    • Carol says:

      Hi Ulrika,

      So sorry to see that you had the same problem as me when trying to set up your facebook username. The only consolation is it makes us both feel a little better that we aren’t alone in finding the whole thing unclear, frustrating and unfriendly!
      Since posting on this page I haven’t had any luck in resolving any of it. No-one has stepped forward with a solution and I have emailed facebook via their ‘report a bug’ link twice but have yet to receive a reply….I’m not holding my breath!
      I want to move forward but I am reluctant to do anything until I know for sure I can’t undo what has been done as everything I do online uses my ‘vintagejewelbox’ and I really want facebook to have the same identity. Also I am still not clear about what I should have done differently so until I feel 100% certain I don’t want to use my second choice name in case that goes wrong too!
      I will check back to this page periodically to see if anyone posts anything helpful for us. You are more than welcome to contact me via facebook( the link in my first post) if you wish, sometimes two heads are better than one :-)

      Carol.

  • Dane says:

    Is there anyway to remove a period within a Facebook username?

  • mayumi says:

    I am waiting for my webpage for my business to be finished, and I am not yet sure if I received the domain name I want. Should I wait until after I know the domain name before making my business page’s username? I am still unsure why it is important to have a “vanity” url…

  • Adam says:

    Hey Jesper thanks for this post. My problem is a little different. I had a fan page with an awkward page name but a good username. So I deleted the page thinking that once I deleted it, I could make a new page with a better page name and transfer the newly freed up username over to the new page. Now it seems that facebook wont even allow me to reclaim the old username even though the page it originally belonged to doesn’t exist anymore! Is there like a grace period in which it will become available again or is that name just forever off limits to the entire facebook community forever?

  • Michael says:

    Hi there,

    If I set up one username, for example, “mywebsite”, can i set up another username for a different page that is “mywebsiteclub” ?

    Or will this not be allowed because the second pages username has “mywebsite” in it which is already taken.

    can i do this
    original page username is “mywebsite”
    second page – mywebsiteclub1
    third page – mywebsiteclub2
    forth page – mywebsiteclub3

    and so on, or will the others be disallowed because “mywebsite” has already be taken

    I wish to know this so as to set up my pages usernames properly and select mywebsite, and then not be allowed the other usernames on differnat pages.

    Thanks much,
    Michael

  • Robbie says:

    I can confirm that it’s possible to transfer a facebook username to another account by submitting an IP infringement. They e-mailed me personally and told me that the username has been released for me to use. However, they deleted the infringing account in the process.

  • Sushanta says:

    thanks
    this post solve my problem to find my username

    “Find the “Account Settings” option. Then just browse through the display that pops up and find the Facebook Username. Click the “Change” option “

  • muskan says:

    Hey Jesper , i have one problem i have crated a username for my page and after 1 day i have deleted that page and now i have created a new page but i am not able to get my old username back… how can i get back my old username when i already deleted that old page???

    • Gabriel says:

      Hi,

      I have a very similar problem, except that I used the username in a personal account instead of a page, which was the intention. Then, I changed to another username hoping to setup the page with the correct username, until find out that the old username was locked.

      If you find a solution for this, even if it involves cash, please let me know.

      Thanks!

  • Linda says:

    hi
    my friend has set up a business facebook page and username. the settings all look fine to me but the username URl doesnt take you to the actual page…. just to the login page. any ideas on what might be wrong? i’ve looked at the privacy settings but cant see anything useful and i am running out of ideas!

  • Asif Ahmed says:

    I have a question. What will happen if we change the url? Whats in it for us?

  • Stephanie says:

    Thinking of changing my business username BUT, I already have existing QR codes in market that link to my previous long generic username.

    Will the long generic username still work when I change my username to something more professional and short?

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