In many ways, Google+ has steadfastly built a sort of Facebook clone but with a much better design. It has consistently added features likes verified profiles and pages, pages for brands and businesses and Google+ Events. One place where Facebook rules is its ability to allow brands to interact with fans. Many companies so much as do not point to their official domain URLs but to their Facebook pages for better interaction.
Google+ has decided to start rolling out vanity URLs for some users. This will help users share vanity URLs like “google.com/+toyota” instead of long winding “plus.google.com/110937137992985950150/posts”.
In post by Google employee, Saurabh Sharma announced that the new vanity URLs will be rolled out to only verified users.
A big deal for brands!
Brand managers who own Google+ pages will be very interested in getting their pages a vanity URL. Vanity URL might become crucial for brand managers, especially if these end up being search keywords for popular brands.
Verified users getting first crack at vanity URLs is a sensible idea from a Google perspective, as it means the really famous people and brands get first crack at it. It also means most fake profiles will not be able to get vanity URLs, like it has been the case on Twitter.
But wait, I am not a verified Google+ users but I have a real account nevertheless. Facebook had a better model, where a particular page required a certain number of “Likes” before being allowed to create a custom domain. For Facebook profiles too, users could create custom URLs, but verifying themselves via a text message from their mobile phone.
Facebook has been criticised for having the user-name and custom profile URL being the same, which allows potential hackers from easily guessing your Facebook’s Login ID. Hopefully Google+ is more sensible otherwise, email IDs might end up being leaked inadvertently.
I found some clever (but not official) ways to have vanity URLs for Google plus accounts. One method is to use a customized URL shortener like GPlus to. If you own your own domain, you can also create customized URLs like plus.example.com or fb.example.com and re-direct these URLs to the respective social profiles.
What are your views on custom URLs for Google+ accounts? Do drop in your comments.