Facebook username land grab: Yawn

Guess what? The servers stayed up and nothing exploded when Facebook's vanity URL program went live tonight.

Marketer and avid Twitterer Ian Schafer gives his perspective. Twitter

The servers didn't crash, the system didn't go haywire, and no locusts started spewing out of anyone's monitors when Facebook let its 200-million-plus members reserve customized URLs on Saturday at 12:01 AM Eastern. 200,000 user names were reserved in a matter of three minutes, according to Twitter posts from Facebook employees.

"Well, that was anti-climactic. Worked, no bugs, and I got my name," someone told me in an instant message. "Was exciting for a hot second though!"

I did notice some Facebook pages loading more slowly than usual. After all, the whole thing was hyped beyond belief, at least in certain circles. My Twitter feed was bogged down with "countdown"-related tweets and people proudly announcing their new URLs, but it's unclear how many people who aren't affiliated with the tech or media industries actually cared. Regardless, Facebook appears to have carried this out very smoothly, undoubtedly with beefed-up server power in place to streamline the process.

But it's not over for Facebook. Now, the social network will have to deal with an invariably bloated degree of customer service complaints, as well as a likely stream of legal inquiries pertaining to copyrights and trademarks.

For the moment, however, it appears to have been even less eventful than the so-called " Twitpocalypse " that freaked out the blogosphere earlier on Friday.

UPDATE (9:33 p.m. PT): We've heard from a few people who were trying to grab their first names and couldn't--even though the names didn't appear to be reserved already. One of them speculates that Facebook may have simply "cancelled out" some popular names.

About the author

Caroline McCarthy, a CNET News staff writer, is a downtown Manhattanite happily addicted to social-media tools and restaurant blogs. Her pre-CNET resume includes interning at an IT security firm and brewing cappuccinos.

 

Join the discussion

Conversation powered by Livefyre

Show Comments Hide Comments
Latest Galleries from CNET
The 12 most distinctive phones of 2014 (pictures)
Best mobile games of 2014
Nissan gives new Murano bold style (pictures)
Top great space moments in 2014 (pictures)
This is it: The Audiophiliac's top in-ear headphones of 2014 (pictures)
ZTE's wallet-friendly Grand X (pictures)