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? 

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How Much Would You Pay For Your Goolge+ Vanity URL? – Forbes
An interesting 'Terms of Use' has been pointed out to me today, as the rollout of vanity URLs continues across Mountain View's social network. It might be free at the moment, but Google might not be k…

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