By Stuart Fuller
According to the Daily Mail, Facebook will soon start to develop a driver-less car, to compete with Google and Apple among others. How do we know this? Well, that is because they registered the domain names dotCar and dotAuto in the past few weeks. That’s quite a headline based on the decision to buy two relatively low-cost digital assets.
What the Daily Mail didn’t expand on is the launch of Facebook Craft Ale, the Facebook city-centre pubs or the fast food restaurants. What do you mean you’ve never heard of those? Surely the same principles that apply to their purchase of dotCar and dotAuto also apply to their registrants for dotBeer, dotBar and dotFish, or even any of the dozens of other new gTLD registrations the global brand has made to date.
Facebook, along with hundreds of other companies, are simply protecting their brand from the potential damage a cyber-squatter could cause. Imagine if they hadn’t registered either dotCar or dotAuto and a maleficent third party had, created a copy-cat website about either product and began to harvest personal and potentially financial details? Potentially, some blame may be laid at the door of Facebook for not being proactive enough.
What makes this particular story even less credible is that Zuckerberg has already publically stated that Facebook had no plans to diversify away from its core business, and that the short and medium term focus remained on the development of their social media platform.