What Impact Will Facebook Have On Domaining In 2011?

I would be remiss if I went any further into 2011 without writing this post. There’s an elephant in the room and it’s time to talk about it with all of you. So let’s just get it out there – Facebook is changing the Internet…okay, let me be even more brutally honest – Facebook HAS changed the Internet.

Now for the magic question of 2011 – how will Facebook change the Domaining world? If any of you watched the Super Bowl you probably noticed that for the first time ever more companies used their Facebook URLs than their regular website address. This is a big change and it’s just beginning.

So is the sky falling? No it’s not and I don’t think there is any reason that domain names or the Domaining industry is in trouble, but I do think that we all have to adapt. As with any business or market the dynamics change over time and it’s those who adapt and grow with those changes that succeed.

First I’ll say once and for all – I do not think that Facebook Pages will replace domain names, ever. I do think that Facebook Pages are an essential piece of an online brand. It’s not that you can’t build a great brand on a .com – you can and should, however if you’re not engaging people through Facebook as well you might be missing-out on a chunk of your market.

Here’s an example. I am starting a new online brand in the credit monitoring space (not giving away the domain yet…still a work in progress). In building this brand the first thing I’m doing is focusing on building a steller website on a great .com domain. That is still the first step and absolutely essential.

Having a great .com and a well-built, SEO optimized website is only half the battle. Engaging customer through social media is a must and a Facebook Page is the best way to easily engage the throngs of people online that might be interested in your business but are searching Facebook instead of Google. On top of that, Facebook pages are a great way to easily stay connected to your website visitors. It takes less than two minutes to add a Facebook Like button to your site and users are far more likely to click a “Like” button than they are to enter their email address.

So don’t panic, Facebook Page will not replace domains but if you don’t have a Facebook Page to compliment your developed names you might be missing-out on a great way to engage and connect with visitors. As Domainers we’re all addicted to the same thing – traffic – and Facebook has a ton of it so why not add that to your existing brand?

Now it’s your turn – what impact do you think Facebook will have on Domaining in 2011? Comment and let your voice be heard!

{ 22 comments… add one }

  • Jose Augusto February 9, 2011, 4:10 pm

    Let’s give it a test: post this on Facebook also and lets see where it gets more comments. 😉

  • Mike February 9, 2011, 5:15 pm

    For domainers, the “Facebook effect” will get worse in 2011. Rumor is they’re working on ecommerce infrastructure for Facebook business pages. Once this goes in place, there’s even more incentive for businesses to utilize their Facebook page. Eventually this trend will go away as companies realize they are losing a bit of control, but in 2011 Facebook will be even worse for domainers IMHO.

  • mano February 9, 2011, 5:35 pm

    Facebook is just a mega store, you sell things in it but you for sure need your own office/place/space/warehouse/ and everything else to run your business. Mega stores comes and goes….. but you need to have a permanent place to run your business. .COM and any other domain is your identity or better said the ” base of your virtual existence….”

  • Uzoma February 9, 2011, 8:09 pm

    Once the “oldest profession” begins to use a medium, I don’t know…
    See http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/02/09/sex-workers-facebook-_n_820345.html

  • Logan February 9, 2011, 8:10 pm

    Mike and mano have it right. Facebook is still only one element of a proper marketing plan in 2011.

    What makes Facebook unattractive to marketers is that it is a notorious “walled garden”, just like AOL dial-up was and like cable companies still are today (which is why we’ve never gotten iTV – digital set-top box with e-commerce where you can order the stuff you see in the ads right then and there – in the U.S. still to this day). Marketers, especially big corporate marketers, hate having to deal with “walled gardens” because the advertising rates are usually overpriced and the marketers have to conform to the walled garden’s restraints and demands about the advertising. The balance of market power is too far favored by the walled garden.

    Worse, the companies hate having to invest in the infrastructure of the “walled garden” — building assets that they truly can never own because ultimately they remain the assets of the walled garden and they cannot be redeployed outside the walled garden. Companies will go along with something like Facebook for a while and will build apps, pages, and tabs inside it for now. But they will grow weary of their reliance on the walled garden for leads, sales, interactions with consumers, etc. They will begin to try and find ways to spend less inside the walled garden by trying to go around it.

    Of course, with Facebook, outside the walled garden is the Internet itself. Companies will ultimately try to find ways to reach 500 million consumers outside of Facebook elsewhere on the Internet. My clients already are doing so because they cannot get data about the consumers out of the walled garden like they could initially with Facebook. Without that data, marketers have little insight into consumers, their wants and desires. Without that data, Facebook is yet another media outlet — a huge one, yes, but just another one. For Facebook to survive over the long run, it has to open up and share more with marketers who pay its bills. It has to offer marketers better and better marketing solutions.

  • dr strangelove February 10, 2011, 3:34 am

    lets see if facebook is around in 10 years. personally i dont think so.
    facebook has many flaws when it comes to the security of your information and that opens up a whole new way that companies & criminals to exploit your details…….just do a g$$gle for ‘100 million facebook accounts’, now that is a very serious flaw if these accounts are floating around on warez sites/forums/torrents……i smell 100 million phishing scams and people do fall for that stuff.
    even if you scam $1 out of 1% your still quite wealthy and no one thinks $1 is a scam.

    unix has been around for many many years and even old unix backdoor hacks are still great! even for a 30 second take over of ‘root’ accounts on osx (current mac OS) 25 seconds if you know whats happening

    apologies for the rant but people just close their eyes and cover their ears just because 100million people jumped off the cliff before them just to be popular…..thats facebook

  • 3ddi3 February 10, 2011, 3:41 am

    If facebook incorporates their own search this year and favors its own fb page in terms of ranking then be very afraid

  • Domainer III February 10, 2011, 3:57 am

    Facebook did more for the domain industry by purchasing FB.COM for $8.5M than it ever could possible hurt them. The messages to the public were clear:

    1. .COM is king
    2. Shorter is better (in domains, anyways)
    3. Switching from TheFacebook to Facebook to FB was a good move.
    4. Domains have inherent value

    Sure, they will offer some tiny mom and pops the naming rights to say, Facebook.Com/JoesAuto, but if ever Joe’s Auto become larger, they’ll be talking to the .COM owner to acquire the actual .COM domain — just as Facebook themselves has recently done.

    The “Joes” out there that are smart, will see that right away and immediately register the .COM and skip the Facebook naming excersize entirely.

  • hanafi February 10, 2011, 3:58 am

    Yess indeed!! Facebook implement a lot of thing in their fan page.. now you can include minisite, e-commerce and etc in your fan page. This will attract more people who loves free stuff to move to facebook.

  • FacebookMovie.com February 10, 2011, 5:24 am

    Eventually facebook will be replaced by somethIng new. I agree with the author that both are needed: facebook pages and .com domains. Do not forget Twitter as well. Any monopoly will not survive for long. And if you watched Facebook movie you will know what I mean. In fact I was so excited about the movie that I setup a site dedicated to their story FaceBookMovie.com, have contacted Sean Parker and wanted to give him the domain for free, but he never got back to me.

  • George February 10, 2011, 5:56 am

    I’m quoting you:
    “As Domainers we’re all addicted to the same
    thing-traffic and Facebook has a ton of it so
    why not add that to your exixting brand?”
    Not really. I”m addicted to Buyers not traffic.
    My bank don’t let me deposit traffic into my account…
    They want Money.

  • George February 10, 2011, 6:00 am

    Sorry, I forgot.
    I get Traffic the old fashion way and I get plenty of it.
    I don’t need Facebook. I use my brain thinking out of the box.

  • Laurie February 10, 2011, 6:17 am

    I wonder if FaceBook names are/will ever be transferable. Anybody know if FB addresses are able to be sold? My understanding is that Twitter names have been sold. Interesting article.

    Our FB address is facebook.com/WebDomains for replys. Thanks.

  • Daniel February 10, 2011, 8:03 am

    There were indeed more facebook urls than domains shown on ads at the superbowl? The end is near :/

  • Dimitry Yankelevich February 10, 2011, 8:04 am

    Hey Morgan! Great post. Someone had to start this discussion. I’m glad it’s you. Yes, we can sustain 1 Facebook, 1 Twitter, and 2-3 others. But will domainers be able to prosper in 3 years when the market is squeezed by 20-30 social networks like this? In my opinion, major changes in business model have to be introduced ASAP.

  • Carmen February 10, 2011, 9:26 am

    I heard that Facebook is planning to launch it’s own search engine. If this is the case – and I can believe it seeing all the traffic and popularity – then Facebook URLs are likely to be ranked in their system rather than regular website addresses. They may introduce their own rules in ranking. It’s better to be prepared.

  • David February 10, 2011, 10:36 am

    I don’t feel FB will retain much of an edge if they don’t fix their many security issues. I tell companies who want me to ONLY deal with them through FB that I am not interested in dealing with companies so unconcerned with security. FB has apps that spread malware and one of the worst spammer fake apps was hosted on a server in Pakistan with no host identifying contact info. FB had no answer as to why that was allowed. They are using users’ posts, friend contacts and personal info in ads without telling folks. They sent out a notice AFTER that had been happening for a while and acted like that was new activity. They’ve been automatically grabbing folks’ friend lists from Hotmail accounts and such and posting them on FB as if these folks had them as friends there too according to pals of mine who had issues from that in their personal lives. No one should have their personal accounts and business accounts mixed that way without permission. Ehow is now exclusively FB. They lost my account with that silly move. What business in their right mind would allow greed to undermine basic business sense? Tie yourself exclusively to FB and you show yourself to be a faddish amateur doomed to fail in the long run. I see FB falling on their collective behinds when Google and some others weigh in. MySpace??? Went where? LOL

  • J February 10, 2011, 12:45 pm

    My traffic rarely comes from Facebook and Twitter. The tweets never work. Whereas, many people use social networking, others use another the search to locate information. Until I generate traffic with Facebook and Twitter, I will not believe the hype. Thanks.

  • vvvvvvv February 11, 2011, 10:17 am

    There was traffic before Facebook and there will be traffic after facebook.

  • DR February 12, 2011, 4:19 am

    Remember that everyone isn’t on Facebook. So if you only use FB to market, you are missing a large audience. Then you have people like me, I do have a FB account but don’t check in frequently, and only do so to see friends activity – not to check out businesses. FB is actually kind of a clunky site. It is a good social media tool that a business should use, but just a tool – it won’t replace anything. Remember that FB couldn’t exist without a domain name itself. The real trend is the Old Media giving way to New Media, like newspapers and magazine going from paper to websites, and you need a domain to fully participate in New Media.

  • Stephen Douglas February 12, 2011, 5:51 am

    Hi Morgan,

    I pointed out this very same issue in a comment somewhere — will companies start using their facebook links as “contact/”like”/link” tools for their ad campaign? No, especially when they realize that at least 70% of facebook users do NOT like signing up for “Like” or “Share” with FB ads and promo sites.

    Let’s face it, not everyone wants all their friends, and THEIR friends, to know every thing they bought, or “like” or maybe they just want to visit without getting a “report” of that visit to all their friends. Facebook is like a minefield right now. You might have fun with it conversing with your friends, but FB does have secret plans to cash in on that “on paper” value… privacy and lack of control over your private messages will be the first victim… then companies posting their links at FB will clearly understand that there will be a backlash against them…

  • Ajau May 22, 2016, 3:51 pm

    Facebook is just a mega store, you sell things in it but you for sure need your own office/place/space/warehouse/ and everything else to run your business.


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