MacRumors.com is reporting a rumor that Apple is the new owner of the domain name Me.com. It’s unclear why the company purchased the domain name, but rumors center around it possibly being used as a rebranding of the popular .mac services. The speculation was first started by John Gruber at DaringFireball.net when he noticed that the domain name was using MarkMonitor services. MarkMonitor.com is a company that many large corporations, including Apple, use to manage their domain names. The initial rumor was shortly followed up by a MacRumors reader who pointed out that the Netcraft page lists, Kenneth Eddings, an Apple employee as the DNS administrator.
The domain name was previously being used as a social network site by a company that re-branded in December 2007 under the new name Snappville. The domain name whois records reflects the change in ownership to MarkMonitor around that same time. If Apple purchased the domain, it was likely for a sizeable amount, as a 2 letter dictionary word .com is extremely rare. One would think that the proceeds of the sale would have provided enough funds for the seller to create a better brand name, other than Snappville (which has a ton of likely typos).
“Apple does appear to own Me.com. It was likely purchased sometime in December 2007, and it (along with MobileMe for iPhone) could very well be the rebranding for Apple’s .Mac service. With Apple’s ongoing product expansion outside the Mac platform, it makes sense that they may need to rebrand their services to something more platform neutral.”
Afilias and Godaddy may soon be jumping for joy at this news. The two companies are the current operators of the .Me domain registry. Any future announcements, use and promotions of Me.com by Apple would be a good thing for the .me registry to piggyback on to in order to increase the registrations and use of .me domain names as well. Apple is a heavy-duty advertiser in print and television, but there’s no clear direction on how they will use the domain or promote it. Apple’s use of the domain could also have the reverse effect in making .me a worthless extension. Time will tell.
As this rumor gets churned through the mill though, it should be fun to see just how many *me.com and me*.com and .me domain names get registered today. 🙂 Domain Name News is also predicting a slew of future blog posts on this topic at the Frogger (sic) Factor.