Facebook have announced the launch of vanity URLs this coming weekend, which means that instead of an indistinguishable FB URL for your profile, you will now be able to have http://www.facebook.com/clickthroughmarketing for instance.
There are a variety of views on this latest FB development, as always, ranging from the outraged through to those who think it is a good idea because of potential for SEO. However, FB have had to take some steps to prevent squatters leaping in to get the big names where there may be legal challenges to ownership, and also to try to prevent potential spammers etc. It is probably the handling of this issue which will make or break the system, as FB have not allowed brand name owners to pre-register and hence prevent squatting.
Another oversight is to disallow registration of business pages and groups where there are less than 1000 fans, which cuts out many small but well-established SMEs on the site.
Overall, this is hardly a new idea and many are citing imitation of Myspace which already allows usernames in the URLs, but myspace introduced this whilst in its initial stages rather than with 200million users, which inevitably spells a gold rush this weekend.