If you have been watching television during the last month or so, I am sure you have seen a Portal by Facebook television commercial like this one:
As a domain investor watching the advertisement, you probably noticed the clunky url for Portal by Facebook: Portal.Facebook.com. When you visit that url, you can see Facebook has branded its product “Portal,” and Portal has its own logo and brand identity. Unfortunately for Facebook, the company does not own the valuable brand match Portal.com domain name.
Portal.com does not resolve to an active website. A Whois search shows the Portal.com is owned by Oracle. Looking at Screenshots.com, I can see that there was once a landing page with an Oracle logo announcing that “Oracle has acquired Portal Software…”
Ordinarily, when a domain name is no longer being used, it could be a prime candidate for an acquisition. The same thing goes for a domain name that is owned by a domain investor. In this particular case, because the Portal.com domain name is owned by Oracle, it is likely unattainable. I doubt Oracle would even entertain the idea of selling the domain name. As a result, Facebook is left to use a clunky url to advertise a major consumer facing product during the holiday shopping season.
Companies often complain about dealing with domain investors when they want or need to buy a domain name. I regularly remind them that it is better for a domain name to be owned by a domain investor, who is usually willing to sell a domain name, than it is for a domain name to be owned by a big company like Oracle that doesn’t need the money.