Social media is witnessing an impressive growth in terms of usage, visits and interactivity. Facebook now has half a billion registered users only 6 years after its launch (Source: Mashable), Twitter unique visitors in June 2010 surpassed visitors of the same month in 2009 by an impressive 109% (Source: Marketing Charts), Linkedin celebrated its forty million users in its 6 anniversary as well on May 2009 (Source: Linkedin) and so on, practically every type of social networking platform is living a growth, whether targeting the global populace or niche markets.
Commonly, corporates are also tapping into the social networking world, and creating profiles, pages, group...etc... and engaging their customers on a daily basis, getting feedback, promoting and awarding. Leading social networking sites offer customization of URLs, for example: www.facebook.com/myPage; Twitter account most often represent brands rather than personal names, with this impressive growth and a "want" turning into a "need" would those usernames remain for free?
Facebook guarantees that it would not allow selling of page URLs (transfer prohibited), but can it also protect usernames creation? and if Yes, how long would the process take in order to prove, validate and give back a username and a page URL?
Something to think about, since ICANN also protects brands when it comes to domain names, but it is quite a long process (and sometimes costly), maybe time is something a corporate cannot afford, so it might choose to pay a couple of thousands of dollars to the "username" holder and skip the long validation process.
One has to think about the next steps, since social media has become an essential part of any corporate presence and a main traffic generator for any website, will you be able to secure your accounts on all social media platforms? or would you have to buy them from an "auctions" site?
Makes you wonder...