Ash Nallawalla's blog

How to get a Facebook Username (aka vanity URL)

Facebook allows you to set a friendly URL for your Facebook Page (also known previously as a fan page). If you ask me, a fan page is a better name for it, otherwise you have to explain that your FB Page isn’t your own FB page, but a “capital P page” you created for your community, organisation, or company! Confused? You’re not the only one.

For example, the URL for CEviews.org is http://www.facebook.com/ceviews. Its “real URL” is http://www.facebook.com/pages/CEviews/133801569994470, being a Page I created from my personal Facebook account. Now the long URL redirects to the short, friendly one.

There are a couple of hurdles to cross first.

  • You need a personal Facebook account to be created. If you are making a fan page for your company, be careful to create a second personal page for a “person” at your work email address, otherwise, you’ll end up being tied to that company’s fan page even if you no longer work there and you’ll have lost the short URL you could have obtained for your own account. Yes, your account can get a short URL and your fan page can get a second, short URL.
  • Your Page needs to be Liked by more than 25 people. This means that they need to click the Like button on your page. For a new Page, this might be difficult, but thanks to my son and his friends, this was easier than I expected.

Procedure to get a Facebook Username

What? Yes, they call it a “Username”, not a friendly URL, vanity URL, short URL — anything but intuitive. Since you login with your email address, i.e. your username, you’d be confused about the following URL’s purpose.

  • Complete the verification by supplying your mobile phone number. You will get an SMS with a verification number, which you enter in the next screen.
    Enter the verification code.
  • I don’t have a screenshot for this step, but you will be able to enter your short URL word, i.e. the “username”.
  • This is the next screen:
    Your username is now set
  • Your fan page should haveĀ  at least 25 people who have clicked its Like button (whether they truly like it or not) ;-) This is important, otherwise you will enter a nightmare sequence of steps that I’ll omit here because they are aimed at FB application developers.
  • Notice the drop-down in the above screenshot where you see CEviews. I chose the URL label “ceviews” since it is a logical association with ceviews.org. I checked for availability, resulting in good news in the screenshot below. Take note that you can’t change it later, so triple-check the spelling. You can’t transfer it to someone else either.
    Check availability
  • Confirm your choice and you will be rewarded with the following screen:
    Confirming the Fecebook vanity URL
  • You’re good to go. Tell your fans to link to your new, Facebook vanity URL (Facebook Page username).

Ash Nallawalla

Search strategist experienced in large, complex websites. Ash's Google+ profile

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