In an offensive move, Facebook has registered twenty one new domain names in conjunction with their launch of Instagram Direct. The Instagram Direct service is a new way to send photo and video messages to friends. It allows you to send photos or videos directly to a group of people (followers) or only certain people.
Typically, when companies announce new products or services, the company will register related domain names at about the same time (or on the same day) as their announcement. Registering the domain names before the announcement could possibly “tip off” the media or others, and not registering the domain names could possibly lead to more hassles in the future: enterprising individuals and “cyber squatters” may register those domains with the intention of selling it to the company at a later date, which is against the law and not recommended.
Here is the list of domain names that Facebook registered recently.
It’s interesting to note their picks, as they registered the .com, .net, .org, .biz, and .info TLDs. However, they were not able to get directig.com, igdirect.com, and for some reason Facebook were not ‘fast enough’ to grab instagramdirect.com. I suspect that Facebook will soon be filing a UDRP over that domain or using the legal system to recover those domain names like they have done in the past.
There are currently no registered trademarks for “Instagram Direct” but there are several for “Instagram”. Most likely Facebook will be able to eventually get ahold of “InstagramDirect.com”, though. It’s just a matter of time.
Update: Links in this post have been removed, as they weren’t working at last check. November 16, 2014.