I was one of those that knew early on that Facebook had dropped the 25 LIKE requirement for Vanity URLs. I purposely didn’t tweet it, didn’t write about it, didn’t mention it.
I started out thinking that
My reasoning? Cyber squatting. With the new rule, anyone can create a page and instantly secure the valuable Vanity URL for it. That’s great but will they actually use that page? Or will they just grab the URL so that nobody else gets it before they do? Or will they grab that URL in the hopes of selling it? (technically it’s against FB TOS)
Make no mistake, there’s HUGE value in a Vanity URL.
Let’s just say I was a big deal (real estate wise) in my neighborhood, “Sunny Acres”. I create a neighborhood/lifestyle page about the happenings and living in Sunny Acres. I door knock regularly, organize block parties and help sponsor garage sales in Sunny Acres. When people in Sunny Acres think real estate they think me. On my marketing material would I rather have the URL “Facebook.com/SunnyAcres” or “Facebook.com/pages/Sunny-Acres-/217499493262” ?
But what if that URL has already been taken? What if it’s been taken by a Cyber Squatting Teenage Punk? Worse yet, what if that Page is dead, never used, abandoned? Think that would never happen? It’s already happening.
Case in point: There’s hundreds of thousands of “365 things to do in…” Pages out there. Here’s 8.5 million results. Start looking at some of the pages down the list. Dead. And many of them have vanity URLs.
So I firmly believe lowering the LIKE Barrier was a bad thing. Besides 25 LIKEs? I have hidden test pages with that many Likes.
Then Greg Vincent responded with a very valid point.
I’m really not a fan of buying LIKE’s as you know. Yes, there are businesses out there that for xxx dollars, they will provide a certain number of LIKEs to your page. Most people would rather have 100 loyal and targeted LIKE’s than thousands of unrelated, manufactured ones right?
So, how’s this for an idea? Facebook could start charging for the valuable Vanity URL feature. Charge a one time or an ongoing fee at a price that would dissuade people from Cyber Squatting?
Not that we have any say in the matter, but this begs the question…
What would you be willing to pay for a Vanity URL?