Facebook on Friday will begin letting members use their full names in online addresses for profile pages at the online social networking service.
Until now, users'identity was not clear in the profile address of each user (URL). The URL was just a randomly assigned number like "id=592952074." Facebooks new personalized format will consist of facebook.com/ followed in each case by a user's name (i.e. http://www.facebook.com/John.Palmer)
"When your friends, family members or co-workers visit your profile or Pages on Facebook, they will be able to enter your username as part of the URL in their browser. This way people will have an easy-to-remember way to find you. We expect to offer even more ways to use your Facebook username in the future," Facebook designer Blaise DiPersia said in a message posted at the firm's website.
"Your new Facebook URL is like your personal destination, or home, on the Web. People can enter a Facebook username as a search term on Facebook or a popular search engine like Google, for example, which will make it much easier for people to find friends with common names. Your username will have the same privacy setting as your profile name in Search," DiPersia added.
Facebook said users will be able to start claiming personalized URLs on a first-come, first-served basis beginning 9:01 pm Friday in California (04h01 GMT Saturday).
To thwart "squatting" on names, Facebook is only providing the option to members who signed up before midday Tuesday, according to DiPersia.
Facebook usernames will be available in basic text forms, and users can only choose a single username for their profile and for each of the Pages that they administer.
Facebook attracted 67.5 million users in April, making it the eighth-most visited Web site in the U.S., according to ComScore Inc., a research firm in Reston, Virginia.