Google Plus is another social network and there has been a lot of buzz these days concerning the possible Facebook decline. Until recently, you had to be invited to be able to join the new network but it no more seems to be the case. You may join google plus here : plus.google.com.
Right now, Google is not allowing vanity urls; Facebook does. A vanity url is simply a personalized url. For instance, with Facebook when you sign up you can see your profile at this url : http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=xxx (where xxx is a numeric id). To have a personalized or vanity url, you may go to the username page to choose one. My vanity url on facebook is http://www.facebook.com/aswin.lutchanah. Moreover, on this page you may define your vanity urls for your facebook apps and pages provided they have a minimum number of users.
Google+ Custom Url
[update: 02/11/2013] Here we go, Google is finally deploying vanity urls for Google Plus profiles and pages. Around two years back, I wrote about a workaround for the Google+ vanity url; but no need for that now. Google refers to vanity urls as custom urls and the quickest way to know if you are eligible for one is to go to your Google+ profile and find out if at the top of the page there is a notification about it for you. If you have one, follow the instructions. My Google+ custom url: https://plus.google.com/+aswinlutchanah.
Note that, Google is automatically suggesting a custom url for profiles meeting the following requirements:
- at least 10 followers
- an account that is at least 30 days old
- a profile photo
For local Google+ pages, the requirement is to be a verified local business.
For non-local Google+ pages, the page must be linked with a website.
Google Plus Vanity Url Workaround
A google plus vanity url workaround can be found on this page : http://gplus.to. You only have to find out your google plus id and it’s found in your profile link (example : http://plus.google.com/116355647260442072627/). Here, it’s : 116355647260442072627. You copy this, go to the website and choose your own nickname to have a vanity url such as : http://gplus.to/aswinlutchanah. The problem is that anyone may choose a nickname based on the id he finds out on your profile; you might want to do this before someone else takes care of it for you. Anyway, it is only a simple redirection and nothing else. Google will definitely allow vanity urls soon. You may as well create your own redirection from your own website.