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Google+ Joins The Vanity URL Game

In an attempt to add polish and some brand ID control, Google+ is getting vanity URLs.

Google’s revealed that its social network system Google+ is going to allow users to adopt vanity URLs. The move will start with verified people and pages that are mainly celebrities or brands, and then eventually roll out to more users. Currently Google+ user pages are identified by a long string of numbers as an identifier, which is practical but hardly memorable.

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Google is following a trail blazed by its more established rivals Twitter and Facebook, which have already adopted a more text-based identifier–Facebook more recently. The use of a simpler user ID allows both brands and named users to stand out a little and may also facilitate discovery of new users and content.

Google’s blog posting about the news notes that it will expand to include “many more” users, but doesn’t conclusively say that all of the users of the service will be able to choose a short, memorable URL.

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I'm covering the science/tech/generally-exciting-and-innovative beat for Fast Company. Follow me on Twitter, or Google+ and you'll hear tons of interesting stuff, I promise. I've also got a PhD, and worked in such roles as professional scientist and theater technician...thankfully avoiding jobs like bodyguard and chicken shed-cleaner (bonus points if you get that reference!)

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