Facebook Inc. has transferred the premium 2 letter domain name FB.com out of brand protection service MarkMonitor to self owned domain registrar, RegistrarSafe, LLC.
Facebook acquired RegistrarSEC in April 2016 and the registrars website states:
RegistrarSEC, LLC and RegistrarSafe, LLC are ICANN-accredited registrars incorporated in Delaware and are wholly-owned subsidiaries of Facebook, Inc.
Both Domain Incite’s article and DNW’s article about RegistrarSEC’s purchase by Facebook had thoughts of it being an acquihire/IP reasons. Now that the registrar is housing FB.com, Instagram.com, Facebook.net, I.org and about 213 domains total… things are getting a bit more interesting. To note, Facebook.com still remains at MarkMonitor but that could change in the near future.
Facebook reportedly paid $8.5 million for the FB.com domain name in 2010 from the American Farm Bureau Federation and mainly uses it for its main internal email domain, as well as press releases (FB is its stock sticker). From a security stand-point, the FB.com domain is extremely important to Facebook and it would just be really bad if something were to happen to the domain name. So, in general, the management of the domain name is a big deal.
MarkMonitor and CSC Corporate Domains are the two major players in the corporate brand management of domain name assets and they both hold the who’s who of clients. Facebook owns around 3,500 domain names, so from a volume stand point, not nearly as close to Amazon (43,763) or Microsoft (81,722) for an example.
Facebook has replaced a registry lock on FB.com after the transfer, which is the most secure thing that can be done to a domain. It held a registry lock at MarkMonitor also.
I’m not 100% sure on the reasons for these moves. The biggest thing, now Facebook has to manage these domain names, when prior, MarkMonitor was in charge of doing that. Security/Control are the likely reason for doing it but the registry (Verisign) has the most control over the domain name and that is something that RegistrarSafe, LLC doesn’t have much control over.