Facebook's servers will come under heavy pressure this weekend, as the social networking website rolls out "personalised domain names" for its 200 million members.
While online rivals like MySpace and Twitter allow users to use their names or nicknames as part of their page address (eg. http://www.myspace.com/myname), Facebook currently allocates users a random number as part of their hard-to-remember profile web address...
That all changes this weekend, when current Facebook members will be able to register their own usernames, creating simple-to-remember profile addresses, which they can give out to friends and contacts.
Facebook says the users names will be handed out on a "first-come, first-serve basis", so members will be racing to score their first option (dave127 just doesn't sound that catchy ;-)
This is the Facebook page where users will be able to select their user names, once the gates open this weekend. (You'll need to log in to Facebook, where you'll see a countdown clock until Saturday... New Zealand users should prepare to hit the web at 4pm on Saturday 13th June).
Facebook says the sites plans to offer "even more ways to use your Facebook user name in the future", but only existing members (those signed up before the official announcement) will be able to get first dibs under the new system, before it is opened up to new members from June 28.
Facebook will still enforce its rule that members must use their real names on the site (some with unusual names have been banned previously, because FB suspected them to be fake)... but almost anything goes for the new user name url (certain "curse" and "hate" words are banned).
Unlike Twitter, Facebook members will not be able to change their username once selected (preventing people trying to sell popular FB names on the likes of eBay or Trademe).
People of the web... Set your clocks!
Posted at 9:38 pm