Yesterday afternoon, various tech publications including TechCrunch wrote about a new Facebook app called “Rooms.” According to the Rooms page in the iTunes Store, “Rooms lets you create places for the things you’re passionate about. Pick a topic, customize the look and feel, be whoever you want to be and share with others. It’s perfect for the things you love and interests that make you unique.”
You can learn more about Rooms on TechCrunch and the other news outlets covering this, but the most interesting aspect to me is that Facebook is using a repurposed ccTLD, Rooms.ME, to promote its Rooms app. If you visit the Rooms.ME domain name, you can learn more about Facebook Rooms and find a link to visit the iTunes store to download Rooms for your iPhone or iPad.
As of September of this year, Rooms.ME was owned by someone in India, according to the DomainTools Historical Whois tool. The domain name is currently registered under privacy, so it is just an assumption that Facebook owns the Rooms.ME domain name. Rooms.ME had been listed for sale, but I am unsure if Facebook used a broker to acquire this domain name or how they were able to reach a deal to use it.
I often hear comments about companies using Facebook pages or Twitter handles for products and services rather than a standalone domain name. I presume Facebook could have created a page within its Facebook.com platform to promote Rooms (and it might do that), but they are using Rooms.me for its promotional website.
Interestingly, Rooms.com is a hotel and travel booking website owned by a travel company. I presume that domain name would be very expensive to acquire, and Rooms.ME should suit Facebook just fine for its purpose.