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Earlier this month, Google (specifically Google+) started rolling out vanity URLs. Before the vanity URL, you were identified by a long numeric string, not exactly a great thing to throw on a business card. The new vanity names are instead located at plus.google.com/ +USERNAME, are being made available to certain people. Apparently they offer you a default vanity URL based on your username, but you’re free to ask for something different, which should definitely help your social media marketing efforts. Of course, they all must be approved by Google before they go live.
Right now these vanity URLs are free, but it’s looking like that wont be the case for long. Intrepid investigators have dug deep into Google+’s policies and principles page and have uncovered this gem:
“Custom URLs are free for now, but we may start charging a fee for them,” the page reads. “However, we will tell you before we start charging and give you the choice to stop participating first.”
At this point, it’s unknown how much Google will charge for the unique URLs. We don’t even know if it would be a one-time fee like purchasing a domain, or a monthly subscription style service. Either way, if you get the opportunity to obtain a custom URL, you should probably take it, but invest cautiously.
With the price being such an unknown, you can’t go forward safely. Sure, a custom Google+ domain looks sleek on your business cards, but what happens when they start charging a mint and you have to give it up? Until we know exactly what they plan to charge, and when they plan on charging it, don’t put your vanity URL on anything you can’t change overnight.