Facebook Turns a Design Flaw into a PR Coup

I've been commenting over on Scott Hoffman's Cliqology about Facebook's username registration.Scott wonders aloud if Facebook left $3 million in revenue on the table by not charging for the names.

I responded:

Facebook here is giving people something they expect on any other
service – MySpace, Google, LinkedIn, etc. Creating a barrier to entry
would have stood in the face of the democratization of social media.
That customized names were needed at all was a design flaw. That they
made it a PR coup was brilliant. That they left revenue on the table
was a smart business decision.

As an aside, it wouldn't have
been anywhere near $3 million. I'm sure a large number who did it enjoy
the bragging rights and badge of honor, but it's not something they'd
pay for.

There's more discussion on Scott's blog, so check it out.

You can also connect with me on Facebook via my new vanity URL, www.facebook.com/dberkowitz. (Send me a note if you know me through the blog – I often ignore people when I have no clue why they're connecting.)