Google+ has started rolling out the custom URLs it first announced earlier this month to select users and brands — but the company says it may start charging for the shortened addresses in the future.
Instead of profiles being identified by a randomly assigned number string, the new wave of custom URL receivers are able to switch their profiles over to a simple, easy to find and remember URL. Mashable‘s own Google+ page, for example, can now be found at Google.com/+Mashable.
The Google+ team began notifying users Thursday morning of the option to claim a pre-approved custom URL or apply for a different one. Here’s an example of the emails users have received:
A look at the service’s updated Policies & Principles page, however, shows that Google+ users may eventually have to pay for their convenient, easy-to-use custom URLs.
“Custom URLs are free for now, but we may start charging a fee for them,” the terms-of-use page reads. “However, we will tell you before we start charging and give you the choice to stop participating first.”
Saurabh Sharma, a product manager at Google’s San Francisco office, wrote in a blog post earlier this month that the personalized addresses will eventually be “available to people and pages worldwide,” but did not specify an exact date.
Would you pay money for a custom social media URL, or is would that be an unfair charge? Share your opinion in the comments.