How Facebook Turned a Feature Into a Frenzy

Looking at the following facebook page – basically waiting up late tonight so that I can give my facebook page a custom URL.

Picture 2

Picture 1

The username needs to be 5 plus characters, or I’d be in competition with my boss for   But the fascinating thing to me, is how the facebook PR team took a plain old feature, one that should have been there from the beginning, and have turned it into an event.

This could have easily been inserted as a feature that just appeared, ready to use, it’s not a huge departure from how people will use facebook.  Nobody looks at the url bar after they login, anyway, and everyone goes to their homepage, so it’s not really much of a feature.

Except for the fact that we’re allo meglo-maniacs, who are desperate to be unique, and the Facebook marketing team has done a top-notch job of tapping into this, and making folks scramble to ‘grab’ their facebook name.

  1. They’ve set up a counter page – (seen above) so you can see how long you’ve got to wait.  Delayed gratification, check.
  2. You can’t grab a name until midnight.   If it’s worth waiting up for, it must be good.  Anticipation, check.
  3. Bribery of the press.  The oldest trick in the PR book – if you want ink, give a writer something free.  Exclusivity, check.

Well done, Facebook.  Now lets hope that your IT staff has been as diligent as your marketing folks, because you’re about to get slammed.