One of the bigger news stories this morning in the mobile and social media space was that the popular Farmville game may be coming to the iPhone, iPad, and/or Android sometime in the near future. The impetus for these news stories? Apparently the company where Farmville gamemaker Zynga registers its domain name became the owner of farmvilleandroid.com, farmvilleipad.com, farmvilleiphone.com and farmvillesms.com.
Although it’s quite reasonable to think the domain registrations could simply be defensive in nature so cybersquatters don’t purchase them (like the parked and privately registered iphonefarmville.com appears to be), these domain registrations could give away valuable strategic intelligence to competitors. Likewise, it could also contribute to cybersquatters speculating further on a company’s online strategy, leading to speculative typo domain registrations even prior to launch.
With Domain monitoring tools from companies like Domain Tools, it’s getting more difficult for large companies to keep upcoming launches and product upgrades top secret. Instead of sticking to corporate domain regulations that many companies have that require them to register domain names at a particular domain registrar, it would be smart to buy them with privacy guard at other popular registrars like Name.com, Godaddy, or Register.com, where they would be lost amongst the millions of other domain names.
That is… unless they want the publicity and leaks for “top secret” plans and strategies.