A surge in demand for domains with meta in them.
“All the good domains are taken.”
It’s a common thing you hear about domain names. I’ve long argued it isn’t true. Many terms were invented or popularized after the best .com domains were registered in the 1990s. Take blog, for example.
Or the sudden surge in popularity of the word metaverse. Although metaverse.com was registered in 1994, plenty of related domains were snapped up just this year and have sold for lots of money.
The idea of the metaverse is not new. But it became more popular this year, culminating with Facebook’s announcement that it was rebranding as Meta Platforms as it prepares to become a leader in metaverse technology.
Domain investors snapped up meta-related domains well before this rebrand and even before there was any hint that Facebook would change its name. This will make it difficult for Meta Platforms to protect the word meta as a brand. That’s a good thing because some companies already use the word for their brand or products and services. Meta Platforms doesn’t own the metaverse.
The chart below from Estibot shows how the term took off this year. The chart is for meta, not metaverse, and some words unrelated to metaverse have met in them (e.g., metal). But it’s still illustrative. From 2016-2017 about 100 domain registrations a day contained meta. It increased to about 100-150 a day in 2018. It was 150-300 by this summer and spiked at over 10,000 after Facebook’s announcement.
The surge in demand for meta-verse related domains has been astonishing. Some domains have sold for five figures within weeks of purchase. And it has extended beyond .com.
According to NameBio, these are the top 10 public sales this year that contain meta.
Note that metaverse.io and meta.io sold in March, well before word leaked of a Facebook rebrand.
The last domain contains NFTs, another hot word in 2021. More on that in another post.