In a move that is expected to increase the search engine optimization (SEO) of people and companies that use the social networking site, Facebook will allow users to create a "vanity URL" for their accounts starting this weekend.
Yesterday Facebook announced that starting at 12:01 a.m. Eastern time on Saturday, users will be able to choose a username to be part of the URL for their Facebook page.
In a post on the Facebook blog, company designer Blaise DiPersia says that in the past users were given a random URL that would look something like www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=123456789. Starting this weekend, users could have their URL look something like www.facebook.com/blaise.dipersia.
DiPersia points out that the new URLs will likely increase the search engine optimization (SEO) for users who take advantage of the new service.
"Your new Facebook URL is like your personal destination, or home, on the web," DiPersia writes. "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."
However, the new URL service will not be available to all users of Facebook. The company points out that members who have joined after May 31, 2009 and fan pages that have less than 1,000 members will not be immediately eligible.