In mid June, Facebook gave users the chance to register vanity URLs. I grabbed the URL: http://www.facebook.com/achowdhry during the rush. About 200,000 URLs were claimed within 3 minutes and 500,000 were claimed within 15 minutes. Within one hour, one million vanity URLs were claimed.
In about 2 months, about 50 million registered vanity URLs have taken place. This also includes the fake user names that have been registered. Facebook engineer Srinivas Narayan detailed how Facebook was able to handle the rush in a blog post.
“Since we didn’t have accurate estimates on the traffic that the launch would generate, we put together contingency plans to decrease the load on various parts of the site to give us extra capacity in core services at the expense of less essential services. Also affectionately referred to as ‘nuclear options,’ some of these levers included disabling chat notifications, showing fewer stories in the home page and profile page and completely turning off other parts of the site such as the People You May Know service, the entire chat bar, etc.,” stated Narayan.