Facebook’s Midnight Countdown

By Virginia Breen

Jun 12, 2009 5:23pm

ABC News On Campus reporter Lindsey Reiser blogs:

Like many people his age, 25-year-old Northern Arizona State University junior Aaron Boos spends a lot of time on Facebook.

When he logged on Friday, he saw a message letting him and other Facebook users know that starting at 9 p.m., they could create a username.

Right now, users type in first and last names in a search menu to find their friends and family. The URL address contains a series of numbers—something that is not easily remembered. With the usernames, the URL will look more like this: “facebook.com/JohnSmith.”

“It would definitely make it easier rather than going to the search and just searching my first and last name,” Boos says. “You can just give them your cool address.”

Obviously, each username has to be unique. So if there are two John
Smiths out there, the first one to the request the name gets it; the second will just have to get creative. The naming derby starts at midnight tonight. Facebook is expecting a server-bending crush of people claiming usernames because, well, it’s just easier to remember “John Smith” than user ID 2972018.

Boos, who says he checks his Facebook three to four times daily, thinks the simpler URL codes will help him stay connected. “You run into someone at a bar, and it’s like bam; it’s like a business card.”

Arizona State University public relations major Courtney Jacobsen agrees: “It won’t be as much of a hassle to find your friends and family on Facebook.”

But those who signed up with Facebook after 3 p.m. on June 9, when the usernames were announced, will not be eligible to request a username until June 28.

Facebook says they wanted to create eligibility requirements so people wouldn’t sign up just to reserve a name.

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