An ad on a WhoIs listing for Facebook has sparked a rumor that Facebook.com’s domain is for sale. The rumor started on the heels of a massive outage affecting Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, along with other Facebook-owned properties like Oculus. However, a closer look at the WhoIs entry reveals that the domain is not for sale.
An Ad on WhoIs Claims Facebook.com Is for Sale
An ad on WhoIs’ Domain Tools registry website is claiming that Facebook’s domain, Facebook.com, is for sale.
The ad reads: “facebook.com is for sale! This domain is listed for sale at one of our partner sites. Visit our partner to buy facebook.com.”
The ad does appear on a legitimate WhoIs Domain Tools entry for Facebook.com. However, a closer look reveals that the domain is not for sale.
The WhoIs listing notes that Facebook’s domain was purchased on March 28, 1997, and does not expire until March 29, 2030. The domain information was last updated on September 22, 2021.
So no, Facebook.com is not for sale. The domain is purchased through March 2030 and the registration will likely be renewed before it expires.
Heavy noted that the same ad does not appear for Instagram’s WhoIs registry. (Instagram is owned by Facebook.) It also does not appear for Twitter’s WhoIs registry, which is a competitor not owned by Facebook.
On a Reddit thread about the listing, one person shared a possible explanation. They wrote: “This is because DomainTools use a poor method of detection that by assuming the domain doesn’t resolve to anything (parked by a service or actual website), it must be for sale. It’s not actually for sale, and it’s still registered as stated by WHOIS.”
Other Domain Sites Confirm that Facebook.com Is Not for Sale
If you search for Facebook on Bluehost, the site tells you that Facebook.com is unavailable.
Even GoDaddy’s own website confirms that Facebook.com isn’t for sale, despite the WhoIs ad coming from a business that is part of the GoDaddy family.
GoDaddy’s site says that “Facebook.com is taken.” Then it claims that “We still might be able to get it for you. See how.” Clicking on that link takes you to a Domain Broker Service, similar to the one on the WhoIs listing, that claims a dedicated broker might be able to help you “formulate a strategy and budget to try to acquire your domain.” This same ad appears with other searches, such as searching for Twitter.com, so it’s not unique to Facebook.
So no, Facebook.com is not for sale.
The Ad Takes You to a General Sales Ad by UniRegistry
If you click on the ad, you’re taken to a general sales ad by UniRegistry.
The ad says that UniRegistry is owned by GoDaddy. It then goes on to claim that you can inquire about facebook.com and the domain “could be yours today!” However, the cost is $59 for an inquiry and then a commission on top of that.
The About Us for the service reads: “Uniregistry has a team of 40+ brokers who speak over 14 languages, including English, French, Spanish, Mandarin, Taiwanese, German, Afrikaans, Urdu, Hindi, and Punjabi. Our brokers are spread all over the globe giving us the best opportunity to get you the name you want. We currently represent over 12 million domain names for sale and sell millions of dollars of those names per month.”