In the early 2000s, the landscape of social media was vastly different from what we know today. It was a time marked by innovation and the birth of platforms that would later revolutionise how we connect online. Amidst this digital revolution, on February 4, 2004, a young Mark Zuckerberg launched a site that would become a global phenomenon.
The platform started under the name “TheFacebook”, originally located at TheFacebook.com. Recognizing the need for a shorter and better domain name, the company dropped the ‘The’ from its name after purchasing the domain name Facebook.com in 2005 for $200,000. The name used to belong to About Face, Corp. at the time.
And if you think that’s a lot to invest in a domain, think again. In 2010, Facebook bought the domain name FB.com from the American Farm Bureau Federation and paid $8.5 million for it, which is 42 times more than the company originally paid for Facebook.com.
When asked in 2009 by a TechCrunch interviewer what he might do differently today if he knew any better, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said he “would get the right domain name”.
But Zuckerberg didn’t stop there. Similar to many entrepreneurs who discover the power of a good name, he has acquired many other top brand assets since – parse.com, internet.org, i.org, messenger.com – just to name a few.
The remarkable journey of Facebook, from a fledgling startup to a titan of the tech world, is a story of technological innovation but also one of strategic branding. The evolution of its domain names from TheFacebook.com to the sleeker Facebook.com, and ultimately to the succinct FB.com, is a testament to the company’s understanding of the power of strategic domains in the digital age.
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