How Much Did Facebook Pay to Snag From the Farm Bureau, Anyway?

facebook domain price

Last week, Facebook announced its new mail service.  In the process, it was also confirmed that Facebook had acquired the domain name, and was using it internally.  Your first reaction might be that the Farm Bureau was paid handsomely for the domain name.  That is probably the case, just by virtue of the fact that two letter domain names are prime real estate.  But that doesn’t necessarily mean that the Farm Bureau got more money, simply because Facebook was the buyer.

According to reports, the Farm Bureau did not know that they were dealing with Facebook, as they sold it to an intermediary that worked on behalf of a number of corporate clients.  (And if you’re really into unsubstantiated conspiracy theories, a poster on YCombinator complained that he sold the domain for $1500 to a woman who claimed that she wanted it for her home page, and only later did he learn that the domain actually was transferred to Facebook).

I’m not sure that I buy that the Farm Bureau had no clue as to the true buyer’s identity.  Would the Farm Bureau really agree on a price for, without first doing some research?  That research would certainly entail finding out the clients, if at all possible, of the intermediary that was buying the domain.

Or is all of that moot, and the price of a domain is what it is, regardless of buyer?

Evan Kline

Hello, I'm Evan. I write about tech from my perspective – that of the average 40-something tech geek. You can also find me on Twitter and at my real-life job as a lawyer.    MORE ABOUT ME.


  1. Personally, I think it is moot. This sort of thing happens for real estate transactions all the time, so why not for domain names?

    Farm Bureau might have been able to make an educated guess about the buyer. Odds are that it was a company with an F and B in the name.

    Short domain names are definitely valuable. My own domains have always been a bit long to use as logins for web sites, so I recently acquired (which, ostensibly, COULD be short for Soap Box Writers Group) just to give myself and a few other people really short email addresses (1 character +

    40Tech is a nice mix of short and descriptive.

    • Getting short domain names is definitely tough. The one drawback of 40Tech is that I have to spell it out when I tell people the name verbally. I do have set to forward here, though, so it isn’t much of an issue.

      I think people are accustomed to longer domain names now, so it isn’t that big of deal these deals.

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