Big Reddit Changes Coming? Conde Nast Purchases 285 Reddit Domain Names

As you may or may not know, I typically watch the domain name purchases of many of the web’s biggest brands online. And I do it on a regular basis. Some of these purchases are interesting to see, and some notsomuch.

When a large group of domain names is purchased by an organization that is popular on the web, it usually indicates something big is coming. Today, Conde Nast Digital, the guys behind, purchased a whopping 285 domain names related to Reddit, I began to wonder if something big is in the works for Reddit.

If you did not have specific plans for 285 domain names (which would cost over $2200 to register for one year), you normally would not purchase them. After all, these particular domain names include the Reddit brand (trademark), so if they were simply being purchased to protect the trademark, then that would not be necessary. If someone else had purchased something with “Reddit” in the domain name, then it could be recovered–either with a legal strong arm or the typical UDRP process.

So, at this point I can only speculate. Why would Conde Nast Digital purchase domain names like,, and if they did not have plans for these domains? Apparently “something big” is coming soon, related to Reddit.

Conde Nast Digital purchased 287 domains all at once, on the same day. Only two of them did NOT include the word “Reddit” in them. By the way, here is the list:

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  1. Friend says

    One UDRP will cost more than all those names. (As you know) it’s called defensive registration.

  2. says

    Friend, it might just quite be be defensive registration. In this case, I would probably not recommend doing something like that–unless there is a history of people specifically targeting, and actually buying, domains that contain ‘reddit’ in the name. I’m just not seeing someone thinking that they could potentially profit (or thinking that there’s any traffic) to be derived from a Redd-related domain.

  3. Bob of the Internet says

    It’s almost certainly defensive registration. I’m puzzled as to why anyone would think otherwise.
    The domain names themselves make this pretty clear as there’s no cohesion or unifying plan to them.

    There’s a long history of companies defensively registering domain names, verizon is infamous for registering every variation of “verizonsucks” etc…a long with a bunch of domains similar to these.

    The trademark in the domain-name is not absolute protection against anyone else being able to use it. There’s all sorts of of loopholes that allow people to register and use these domains, though only for specific fair use reasons.

  4. Kevin Lee says

    Thanks for this, Bill. It looks like defensive registration, but then it begs the question – why do this now and not any time earlier? Is there any indication of any threats elsewhere?

    Incidentally, what tools do you use to monitor domain registration like this? Are there any free tools, or are they mainly subscription-based?



  5. Keith Hernandez says

    I’m less concerned with the number of domains containing “Reddit” were registered and more concerned with the number of times the phrase “something big” was used in this post.

  6. says

    @kevin I agree, it could be just something as small as defensive registration. But, I honestly don’t think that someone would go out and register some of those domains–just seems like there wouldn’t be any threat of someone registering those particular domains. If you’re looking to monitor something like this, you should probably look for Daily Changes.

    @Keith I agree, I didn’t realize how many times that phrase was mentioned. But again, it’s only merely speculation on my part. I have been wrong before. 😉