Earlier today, we announced that we're planning to offer Facebook usernames to make it easier for people to find and connect with users and Facebook Pages. From its beginning, Facebook has been a place where people use their real names to share and connect with the people they know. By selecting a username, people now will be able to reflect their identity in the Web address for their user profile or for Facebook Pages by having a memorable URL rather than one with randomly assigned numbers.

We expect to offer even more ways to use Facebook usernames in the future. We are excited about this upcoming change, and we wanted to provide answers to some key questions that you may have as a developer.

How does this affect my canvas page URL, which is of the form http://apps.facebook.com/?

The changes announced today do not affect any canvas page or canvas page URLs. Canvas page URLs will continue to live on the domain http://apps.facebook.com at their current URLs. At the present time, the new username-specific URLs cannot point to canvas pages.

How do I sign up for a username for my Facebook Page or application profile? How many can I get?

Every Facebook Page or application profile that has more than 1,000 fans as of May 31, 2009, can get one username-specific URL associated with the page. If there are multiple administrators of a Page, the first username selected by any one of the administrators will be associated with the page. If you're an administrator, you can get more details here.

For your application profile, we recommend you choose a username that closely matches the name of your application. For a Facebook Page you maintain to promote your development company, you might choose your company name as your username.

How do I know if a username is available for my application profile or company Page? If it's not available, does this mean someone else took it? What can I do to get it?

You can sign up for a username starting at 12:01 a.m. EDT on Saturday, June 13, 2009, by visiting www.facebook.com/username. After selecting one for your application or company name, you will see a green check mark indicating that the name is available before you actually claim it. In some cases, your desired username may not be available because someone has already selected it or because we've reserved certain names that have been brought to our attention in an effort to help third parties protect their intellectual property and other rights. If your username is unavailable or you wish to report that another username infringes your intellectual property rights, please fill out our automated IP infringement form.

Be sure to check out this FAQ for answers to other common questions. As always, we appreciate your continued feedback in our Developer Forum.