By Shaun Nichols at ClickZ:
Google has added the ability for users to select their own URL addresses on the Google+ social networking service.
The company said that it would initially be rolling out the personalized URL option for verified accounts, limiting the service to large brands and celebrities in its initial phase. The company said that it plans to add the option to more users in time.
The new scheme will allow users to not only personalize their URLs, but also dramatically shorten the address for accounts. The new scheme will display the user's name and a '+' sign directly behind the Google.com domain.
For example, David Beckham has registered the +DavidBeckham address, changing the football star's URL to google.com/+DavidBeckham.
"Whether you're a clothing brand showing off your latest fashions, an athlete talking about the game, or an actor recalling a favourite role, your Google+ profile helps you connect with the people who share your interests," Google's Saurabh Sharma said in a blog post announcing the feature.
The update brings Google+ closer with rival social networking platforms such as Twitter and Facebook, which have long allowed users to select their own custom URL addresses.
Since its introduction in 2011, the Google+ platform has set it sights directly on Facebook's top spot in the social networking market. Earlier this year, Google announced that the platform had surpassed 250 million users.