How to Set, Change & Transfer Facebook Usernames

Warning: Facebook constantly changes their software rules without warning — and the advice in post may not work anymore. Many users have reported problems following these procedures – see the comments. Use this advice at your own risk!

Love it or hate it, Facebook is currently the biggest and popular site on the web… except for Google. It’s ranked #2 by Alexa and it has over 1.5 billion inbound links. Because it’s such a powerful site, having a well-branded, SEO-optimized vanity username or Fan page URL on Facebook can be a big boost your business and online reputation.

Facebook Username Length & Guidelines

  • Usernames must be 5 characters long and may be no longer than 50 characters.
  • Usernames can only contain A-Z, a-z, 0-9, and periods (.)
  • Your account must be e-mail and SMS (text message) verified before you are allowed to set or change usernames.
  • Facebook says you cannot register usernames and try to resell them for money, or they will disable the username (or your account) if they find out.

How Do I Set My Facebook Username (Vanity URL)?

When you’re logged into your account, type the following URL into the browser bar:

http://www.facebook.com/username

Then follow the on-screen directions. They tend to show a lot of suggested usernames with periods in them, and you may have to click the “more” button to type in the one you really want. Check the availability, double-check your spelling (don’t type in “JohnSnith” instead of “JohnSmith“>), and then confirm the name to lock it in for good.

How Do I Change My Facebook Username?

1. Click on the “Account” dropdown menu at the far upper right of your screen. Then select “Account Settings” from the drop-down menu:

2.) Click on the button to change your username:

How Many Times Can I Change My Facebook Username?

You are only allowed to change your username once. If you have changed your name once already and want to do it again, you’ll have to register and SMS-verify a new Facebook account. (Maybe buy one of this disposable, prepaid cellular phones for $ 29.99?)

Someone already registered my choice of username. If they change it to something else, can I claim it? Can we trade Facebook usernames?

Notice: The information in this article was true at the time it was written (February, 2010). Facebook changes on a monthly basis and this information PROBABLY WON’T work the same in 2011 or 2012. I have gotten several reader comments saying that they tried this method and it doesn’t work anymore. Don’t try and change or give up a name unless you are 100% okay with losing it permanently.

Yes. It is possible to trade and exchange Facebook usernames. From the tests that I personally conducted (on 2/19/10)… it seems that the second you change your Facebook username to something else, your old username immediately becomes “up for grabs.” If someone else registered as “JohnSmith” and you can talk them into changing to another name.. the moment they change and confirm it, you can grab “JohnSmith” for yourself.

Here is a video I found on YouTube that demonstrates how to transfer / trade Facebook usernames:
(warning! cheesy music)

How Do I Set A Vanity URL for a Facebook Fan Page?

Facebook Usernames URLs are best for individual people. Facebook Fan Page vanity URLs are better for collective interests like: companies, organization, bands and products. Once your fan page has 25 or more members, you are eligible to set a vanity URL for it. Here’s how:

1. Type “http://www.facebook.com/username” into your browser’s address bar:

2.) Click the blue link that says “Set a username for your pages”:

If I registered a personal Facebook username/URL and now I want to change it to a fan page URL. Is this possible?

Yes. Here are some tips on how to do this that were sent in on 10/24/11 by reader Nathan Stephens of Groundswell Media Productions:

The solution that I find works best to transfer your custom url/username from a user profile to a Fan page is to first create a new Fan page for your business. Once you have created the new Fan page then migrate your user profile to a Fan page. Be sure to read Facebook’s help FAQ before migration https://www.facebook.com/help/?page=18918 then begin the migration https://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php?migrate. Once the migration from a user profile to a Fan page is complete Merge your Fan page with the new Fan page you just migrated from a user profile to a Fan page. Again be sure to read Facebook’s help FAQ https://www.facebook.com/help/search/?q=duplicate before merging your duplicate fan pages.

 

Can I Change the Name of a Facebook Fan Page?

No. According to this thread, you cannot currently change the name of a Facebook Fan page. If your company is called “Extreme Print Design” and you have a Fan page for it, and you legally change your company name to “Extreme Web Design” – you still cannot change the name of your fan page. You have to make a new fan page and start over.

Can I Change the URL of a Facebook Fan Page?

No. Once the fan page URL has been set, there is no way to change it. Not that I know of.

Disclaimer: Facebook has complex, not-user-friendly, constantly evolving interface! The information in this post was true at the time of writing, but i is very likely to change in the coming months or years.

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