Facebook users on Friday night made a mad dash to get their personalized Web address before someone else did.

More than 500,000 people had registered their user names within 15 minutes, the company told USA Today, and more than 3 million users registered their user names within the first few hour.

The idea according to Facebook's blog is to make it easier for friends, family, co-workers, and even search engines to find your profile without having to spend so much time scouring the site. Facebook move seems to be a bid to catch up with its social networking counter parts like MySpace and Twitter, who already offer personalized URL's.

Instead of having a URL that reads like this facebook.com/ profile.php?id=597581268745308, users will have a personal URL like facebook.com/cooldude or facebook.com/johnsmith.

It's rewarding to see so many people are interested in getting a user name, Facebook spokesman Larry Yu said yesterday in a telephone interview with Bloomberg. While traffic to the site was higher than usual, he said the introduction of the feature went smoothly.

Facebook’s offer was limited to personal accounts as well as group and fan pages with at least 1000 members as of May 31, 2009 to prevent cyber-squatting. All pages created after May 31, 2009 or that had less than 1000 fans on that day will be eligible to claim usernames on Sunday, June 28, 2009, Facebook said.

The social networking site has published an automated IP infringement form, which individuals, businesses and other organizations can use to request removal of a user name.