I don’t use Facebook much – there’s nothing wrong with it, I suspect I’m just a little too old. My friends aren’t big users, so there seems little reason for me to spend time there. However, thanks to Eversheds I was tipped about their new naming mechanism – the ability to grab a username with a path directly to your account, so that users visiting http://www.facebook.com/david.cameron for example will get to see the page of the leader of the opposition. This is a great idea that is common across other social networking sites, and I’m surprised that Facebook didn’t implement it sooner.
So, on Saturday morning when the facility was switched on, I was one of the allegedly 500,000 individuals who logged in and grabbed a username. Unlike some of the others though, I just stuck with my own one. The Sunday Times reports that cybersquatters have already moved in on some notable names, such as Prince Charles, Downing Street, Girls Aloud (who they?), Rolls-Royce, Waitrose and Morrisons. Quicker off the mark were Buckingham Palace and David Cameron.
Facebook does have policies for closing and recovering accounts, which should give trademarks some degree of protection over their names, but if you think there’s a future on Facebook for you, get over there quick and register your name before someone else does.