Reason #1 a Domain Name is Better than Facebook URL: You Control It | DomainInvesting.com

Reason #1 a Domain Name is Better than Facebook URL: You Control It

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A few weeks ago, a reader emailed me with a question, “I’m asking myself if businesses are abandoning their websites for a facebook page. Maybe not for an ecommerce site but for a small and medium “brochure” type website, why not just go with facebook? ” As I was about to write an article to discuss this, Mike Berkens had a post that touched on this topic.

It seems that many companies have been using and actively promoting Facebook and Twitter accounts with vanity urls that contain their brand names. I personally never liked the idea of ceding control of your url, which has been done by companies like Best Buy with their Twitter Twelpforce and TGI Friday’s with their Facebook FanWoody campaign.

Today, I read an article on TechCrunch about Facebook revoking the vanity url, http://www.facebook.com/harmon, used by one of its users, Harmon Bajwa. The company allegedly sold it to another company named Harman International, who wanted it for a campaign, supposedly in conjunction with the Grammy Awards.

Imagine that your small company shares its name with a Fortune 500 company – or even shares a name with a F500 company’s brand. It doesn’t appear that there would be anything to stop Facebook or maybe even Twitter from taking your url and selling or giving it to another company.

With a domain name, another company could still try to get it by filing a UDRP dispute (or lawsuit), but there are mechanisms in place to prevent a person or company from simply having the domain name taken from them.

This looks really bad for Facebook, and it’s a good reason why smaller companies and individuals should really think about whether they want to give up control of their address online.


About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of DomainInvesting.com. Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has sold seven figures worth of domain names in the last five years. Please read the DomainInvesting.com Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest.


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Comments (8)

    Steve M

    Every time I see an ad (print, TV; what’s next, radio?) where a company’s using an FB or Twitter acct/vanity “address,” I cringe.

    You don’t let other companies “tag along” on the back of your advertising; much less for free.

    The Internet changes many things; but not this.

    January 23rd, 2010 at 12:14 pm

    Elliot

    Looks like there’s an update to the story… Facebook has given the guy his url back

    http://www.techcrunch.com/2010/01/23/facebook-gives-harman-his-name-back-apologizes/

    January 23rd, 2010 at 5:09 pm

    Rob Sequin

    I think Facebook is a great COMPLEMENT to an existing website but should never be anyone’s main online presence.

    1. Facebook could ban you or change the terms or do something that makes your facebook page less attractive to you.

    2. If you want to move away from facebook, it’s not easy to take your content with you. Same with blogger.com or other hosted services.

    3. I can’t say I’ve seen any facebook pages showing up high in search engine results so having facebook as your only online presence is probably not a good long term strategy.

    4. Like having an AOL email address, it shows you are really not serious about your business. “Go to my facebook.com/mybusiness page”. AMATEUR MOVE!

    5. No value to building out your facebook page since I doubt the URL would ever have any resale value and if it did, it’s probably against the TOS to sell it.

    Invest in a good domain or brand one and load it up with lots of original content with a sustainable competitive advantage business model and use Facebook as a marketing tool only.

    January 23rd, 2010 at 5:26 pm

    Saas

    My main reason for using a Domain over a FaceBook page is that my competitors can buy Ad Space on a FaceBook page. Why send traffic to the competition?

    January 23rd, 2010 at 6:04 pm

    remonatrix

    Domain names are the way to go plain and simple. Don’t tell Facebook I told you cuz they might remove my facebook page from their site …

    FaceBook and Twitter are 2 online machines that are hard to ignore … useage and volume dictate the tendance.

    I unfortunatly have trouble mixing business with pictures of my son and quirky remarks found on my wall.

    The segregation of types of information on this site is still for me kinda too involved … I don’t want to put information on the same site about my business and about my pleasure … I’m just old fashionned (circa 2004).

    January 25th, 2010 at 6:03 am

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