Do Facebook vanity URLs matter?

Facebook announced yesterday that on Friday, June 11th, 2009 at 9:01pm (PDT), users would be allowed to flock to the site and grab their own vanity URLs. That means instead of hitting up the pub, watching game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final, or catching a movie, people will be anxiously awaiting the opportunity to forever dub themselves www.facebook.com/Jason - or any other moniker that seems fitting.

Some additional information that should be considered. Facebook employees, important brands and trademarks, and now select journalists and members of the media will have (or will have had) first crack at taking the /Mikes and /Dells and the like before us regular people have a chance. Going 1 step further, /coke will even redirect to /cocacola.

As part of my below-the-line marketing efforts, I’m definitely interested in trying to grab something resembling keywords like dedicated servers, managed hosting, or something along those lines, as well as trying to grab possibly one of my nicknames, like ‘Barnsey’, or ‘JayAndSilentRob’. It only makes sense to do so, because there will be hoards of users trying to do the same thing! But do Facebook vanity URLs really matter?

Facebook is definitely a force on the Internet. There are millions of users that exist on the site, and I would guess a high percentage of those individuals would depend or even NEED the site, giving weight to the ‘crackbook’ or ‘facecrack’ references that are fairly common. But the strength or significance of these types of URLs is definitely questionable. MySpace has offered these for years, and while MySpace was once the 10,000lb gorilla on the block, it’s lost a lot of the allure it once had. Is Facebook really the force it once was? Along with Twitter (which is apparently on the downswing itself), every new site, or application, or social media platform that springs up is going to take away from Facebook, which for now seems to be sitting pretty on top. For example, isn’t the next big thing supposed to be Google Wave?

Maybe a better question to ask - does Facebook really matter?

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