My thought on this is that Google may charge for vanity URLs in the future when it is for branding purposes for use by big companies. I don’t feel that the payment for a vanity URL is targeted to people. But, this is the Internet, people like to assume that Google (or Apple, or Microsoft…) is out to screw them PERSONALLY.
Years ago, I had a few household-name clients that purchased custom MySpace URLs. It also granted them the ability to not have ads run on their pages. The starting price for the custom URL – without any web development or marketing plan – was $100,000 (to my knowledge). I saw a few companies cringe, but mostly they all wrote checks and said "thanks Tom" and went about their business.
There are no ads on Google+. We get the service for free, as with any Google+ product, there are a few exceptions where they charge money for a pro-level service (Google Apps and Google Analytics Premium for example). You don't NEED a vanity URL to function in Google+. So why would anyone be upset if they decided to charge for obtaining one? The only thing I'm not happy about is the gray-area in the TOS that says "However, we will tell you before we start charging and give you the choice to stop participating first." I won't be happy if I now have a vanity URL then am asked to forfeit it or pay for it. That's about the only thing that rubs me wrong – but they are not saying they WILL charge, just that they MAY charge.
As far as how much I would pay to have/keep my custom URL? If I were an 'everyday' user I probably wouldn't pay at all. If it were $50-$100 a year for the way I use it now, I'd pay. If I were some huge company like +Cadbury UK I'd pay a lot more.
Reshared post from +Ewan Spence
If the gun is fired in act three, you'll see it in act one. So, given the terms and conditions of Google+'s vanity URLs, how much would you be willing to pay Google to get your name?
How Much Would You Pay For Your Goolge+ Vanity URL? – Forbes
Google+: Reshared 1 times
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google seems to be free so thats what i would pay LOL
I think quite a bit about this depends on how Google wants people to view G+. It means very different things if a vanity url is charged for.
Pay? No. Perhaps if I were a business though!
I not that vain that I'd pay.
I don't think they will charge individuals in the future +Lynette Young , companies maybe. But look at it from a different perspective. With your custom url you can occupy an important (how important, I will leave that up that you) piece of internet domain, not just in Plus but likely also in search etc. Could you compare it to paying for a (custom) webdomainname?
I laughed on the PERSONALLY comment. It is so true. Reminds me when I heard/read somewhere this cool sentence: "We are all the same. Everyone thinks about just one thing, all the time….themselves"
+Martijn van Beek I agree – I'd pay for a Google+ vanity name. People and companies purchase domains all the time for websites/blog, why not here?
Let me put this another way. Paying for a vanity url would signal to me that G+ is not a social media platform, but something else entirely.
A marketing ploy.
A lot of people would be happy to pay, just like domains, not everyone likes having to ask people to "search for me on G+" – and would love to give out a short and snappy link for it. For some people, url shortening is good enough though 😉 I use gplus.to .
+Cindy Brown there are lots of reasons to be active here with most, if not all, legitimate. The possibility is there, which is a good thing, for those who do not care, they will let it pass by. I am still trying to figure out what Google Plus is 🙂
+Martijn van Beek, to find out, start here: http://thenextweb.com/google/2012/07/31/think-google-is-a-ghost-town-chances-are-youre-just-using-it-wrong/
Oh I think there's a lot of potential for G+. I've been here more than a year, after all. But if there's a perception of significant resources being expended on an elite, commercial class, people may start looking elsewhere.
Thanks for the link +Sylwia Bialczak But I know about the whole ghost town discussion, I am certainly not someone who thinks G+ is a ghost town.
+Cindy Brown , if the "elite"users then have to pay for a service like that, sounds fair to me.
There's a lot of problems with that. Here's a point to illustrate. I was at a mall yesterday trying to find a particular store. In this day and age of the iphone, I just used google maps to figure out where it was rather than hoof it to the nearest mall directory (In any case, there are like three contiguous malls in this valley, so it wasn't necessarily going to be easily located on the current directory board). The results showed me ONE store (a sponsored link) in an entirely different mall 10 miles away. It wasn't until I entered more generalized terms that I got all the local branches including the one that I was looking for.
That link 10 miles away was noted as a sponsored link.
If payment for these kinds of things starts skewing searches, that's going to be very, very, very bad.
(The vanity url's are being touted as "efficient" ways to look up companies.)
+Martijn van Beek ah, sorry, I did not mean to say that you think it is a ghost town. I just think this article shows nicely G+ strengths. Good start, regardless of reasons to read it.
For a vanity URL, I would probably make a one time payment but not an annual fee or other reoccurring fee.