Facebook is altering the way in which people find your Facebook profile - via the link to your personal profile, aka your URL. Read about the username change at their blog. It is allowing a word that means something to be in the URL, instead of the long sequence of numbers they started out doing. For example:, my current Facebook link is: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=612693197&ref=name But after midnight on Saturday, I can make it be: http://www.facebook.com/katiehellmuth . Simpler.
To make this change, go to http://www.facebook.com/username/
This is great for two reasons: 1. easy to tell people how to find you, and 2. easier to find the direct link to your profile page if you were to link to it from another website, like this one. Members of Tin Shingle can link directly to their Facebook pages, as well as other websites, to showcase all of the places they and their businesses are online.
Does this URL grab cause you the need to panic and not enjoy your Saturday morning? Not really. You pretty much have to know that potentially millions of users are going to try to grab their names. So, if you're up on Friday night at midnight, log into Facebook and try to claim your name. You will be presented with a screen that looks like this, where you can select your name, or create a totally new one (photo from Facebook's blog post):
Keep in mind, this is just like when you were picking out your domain for your website. When I was buying the domain for Katie James, www.katiejames.com was taken by a country music singer. So, I had to go www.katie-james.com. With www.tinshingle.com, tinshingle.com was taken. But we like the -, so it's worked out for us and into our logo. And then voila, tinshingle.com became available, and we bought that too. I digress into domain names which are totally different, but you get my point. However, please note that you can't claim more than one URL at Facebook. You get one shot, so be happy with it.
In fact, I will debate now whether I want my own Facebook URL to be my name with or without a period, or with my married name, or what. Decisions. If I use a period, then people have to remember that when typing. But, visually, the period makes a nice separation between the names. These are choices you will need to make. Especially if you get to the party late. For example: my sister, whose name is Kim, will never forgive me for claiming khellmuth@xxx as my email address on a free email platform. Instead, she had to list her whole name.
So don't sweat it, just live with what you get. :) No matter what, linking to your Facebook page will now be easier.
NOTE: If you created your Facebook profile page recently, you may not be able to select your URL. Facebook made this decision in order to prevent squatters to just make up accounts and squat on names.
ALSO NOTE: Business Pages can claim a URL. Keep in mind, there are restrictions, such as having at least 1,000 fans by May 31. Businesses who have trademarks can file for protection.