I love the Robert Kennedy quote about how he looked at “things that never were and asked why not.” Why not is a great question. I love flipping it back onto others when a new idea is on the table. And right now, I feel like asking why not of our friends in Palo Alto.
It seems that Facebook is dead set against small businesses (or namely organizations with only a handful of fans) creating usernames. Quick history – about a month ago Facebook let users and big businesses or brands with over 1,000 fans create usernames for their profiles and pages. This outraged a few firebrands like us and shortly thereafter they said that the ‘others’ could create usernames on June 28th. Okay. Unfair still. But progress nonetheless. So as I waited on Sunday I found that I could still not create usernames for a couple of our clients as Facebook has implemented a no usernames for pages with less than 100 fans rule.
As I’ve outlined many times here this is just plain wrong. First of all, it’s counterintuitive. Usernames provide a quick and easy way to promote your Facebook presence and – wait for it – get more fans. If usernames are primarily a promotional tool, why would you deny this to the most promotionally challenged segment of your userbase?!?
There are probably some businesses that Facebook has key relationships with that they need to take care of. That’s fine. But what is the danger in letting all pages create usernames, Facebook? As one collegue said during the original late-night username land rush, great — now I can do something on Facebook that I’ve always been able to do on Twitter.
If you’d like to add your support to asking Facebook why not, join our (irony alert) Facebook fan page and let them know that small business matters.
Photo credit Daniel Slaughter via Flickr