Want to look me up on Google+?
No problem, let me give you my profile URL: https://plus.google.com/109268179742279073600/posts
No problem if you’re clicking through from a webpage but what if you’re not? There’s no way you’re going to find me directly without relying on my full name and search. Lucky for you, my name isn’t that common but if you’re looking for a specific John Smith, good luck with that.
I will never understand why social networks insist on giving us all a series of numbers. It may mean something to a browser, but to a human being, it’s so much gobbledygook. And while it’s true I want all browsers to find and love me, I want people to find and love me, too.
Google+ got the message and they’ve started the slow transition to vanity URL’s. Pretty clever, too:
(And as it appears in the browser)
See what they did there, they put the + in the URL, so it’s intuitive. I wonder if David Beckham has a + page? Look at that, he does.
Right now, they’ve only offered it to a few of their verified page owners and partners but they say they’ll continue to roll them out across the board. The downside is that there can only be one +johnsmith, which one gets that name could be the first guy to claim it, not the guy who is most active on the site. If I was in charge of the roll-out, I’d segment out the top 1,000 most active users and give them first dibs. After all, anyone who is still posting regularly to Google+ deserves a reward.
Calling all former Google+ users, is the allure of a vanity URL enough to bring you back to the fold? Nah, I didn’t think so, but kudos to them for trying.