A few weeks ago, Google announced that it would soon start rolling out custom URLs for celebrities and brands. At the time, it wasn’t clear how Google would choose the individuals and brands that would get first dibs at their customized Google+ URLs, but the company had already pre-approved domains for companies like brands like Toyota, Delta and celebrities like Britney Spears. Now, it looks like Google is pre-approving more vanity URLs for users with verified accounts. Our own Alexia Tsotsis was notified earlier this morning and I also just got an email asking me to claim my vanity URL.
According to these emails, Google is choosing the users’ URLs for them, though after you click on the link in the message, you do get a chance to request a different URL. The only options there, however, are to request names that “you are commonly known by online” or a name “commonly associated with your organization or brand.” Given Google’s preference for “real names” on Google+, chances are you won’t be able to claim your Twitter handle as your Google+ vanity URL.
When Google first announced the launch of its vanity URLs about two weeks ago, the company said this would just be a “first step” and that it would first provide users with verified profiles. So far, it seems that this rollout is indeed still limited to verified profiles, but chances are we will see a wider rollout relatively soon.