If you're using Google+, you might have noticed that unlike many other social networks (such as Facebook and Twitter) there isn't an option to create a vanity URL. Instead, each profile is identified by a long string of numbers in the URL (for example, 107030912810704099919).
According to Mashable, the reason Google+ doesn't offer its own vanity URL shorteners is to keep out spammers who could possibly use that data to infer account information about the user. Google+ isn't a standalone product, and elements of the social network will be baked into various Google products (including search and gmail), so it's obvious why the company is placing so much importance on privacy.
The Wall Street Journal offers some additional insight into Google+'s security precautions, writing, "Google's last social-networking attempt, called Buzz, blew up in its face over a privacy issue. The company has learned from that mistake, choosing to limit the number of users with initial access to Google+, in order to minimize damage if any problems popped up."
For those users who simply must have a vanity URL for their Google+ profile, there is an alternative.
Mashable, notes that a newly launched web application called Gplus.to solves the problem of cumbersome URLs. For example, the service converts "https://plus.google.com/u/0/107030912810704099919/about" into an easy-to-read "Gplus.to/mrcoopersmith."
CNET has created an instructional video with instructions on what to do.
Here's a step-by-step guide to help you create your own personalized vanity URL:
1) Go to your Google+ profile (Open Google+ then click on your name)
2) In the URL at the top of the page, find the string of numbers that come directly after 'plus.google.com/' and before '/posts' or '/about.'
Note: this is what you're looking for: https://plus.google.com/#################/posts
3) Copy that string of numbers
5) Where indicated, type in a nickname or shortener you want to replace the string of numbers with, and click 'Add'.
6) That's it! You're done.
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