Report: Israel Buys @israel Twitter Handle for 6 Figures, But Not Israel.com for 7 Figures When It Was Auctioned

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**Update** The Jerusalem Post is reporting that the actual price was $3,000.

According to several news reports, including one in the New York Times, Israel bought the rights to use the @israel Twitter handle found at Twitter.com/israel. Although the price was not revealed in the Times article, it was reported to be in the six figure range by The First Post. Because of Twitter rules preventing the sale of Twitter accounts, the transaction was completed via a loophole.

I am not really surprised that the state of Israel would want to have this Twitter handle with Twitter’s popularity still high and its huge reach. Looking back a couple of years, however, it does seem strange that Israel would not pay seven figures for something that would seem to be even more important to the country and its tourism industry: Israel.com.

You may recall, Israel.com was up for an auction held by Moniker during TRAFFIC, and the reserve price was reportedly $5,500,000. The domain name did not sell during the live auction, but it was reportedly sold for $5,880,000, according to an article in Israeli newspaper, Haaretz.

Since the Whois information is private and since the domain name is currently parked, it does not appear that the state of Israel was the buyer of this domain name. It’s interesting that the state of Israel would pay a reported 6 figure sum for a Twitter handle, but they weren’t interested in buying Israel.com for $5.5 million when it was up for auction.

14 COMMENTS

  1. That’s crazy (in a good way)

    I’ve always wondered about aftermarkets for places like Twitter, Facebook…even Hotmail. Where these things ever bought and sold like domain names?

  2. That may say something about social media trends. Of course one can instantly start using a Twitter account. A one-word domain name is going to take a bit of work and additional cost to rank. Lastly, six figures is a long way from a $5.5 million reserve.

  3. “six figures is a long way from a $5.5 million reserve.’

    True, but both are trivial amounts for a nation like Israel. The fact they bought @twitter shows they’re tuned in, but I would have thought they might buy Israel.com in retrospect.

    Additionally, since the former owner of Israel.com is Jewish (I presume), he might have been more inclined to work a better deal out.

  4. I was wondering where you got the six figure price because I didn’t see any article saying the price. Just curious if you saw that actual number or just heard the rumor. No big deal either way but wondered how the number came about.

  5. >Pretty simple.

    Yeah. That’s the way Snapnames used to transfer domains they caught at weirdo registrars to new owners – until the day someone else hit the reg button in the middle of the delete-register process.

    Then they decided it wasn’t such a good idea.

  6. I suppose whatever makes you money can be sold to someone else.
    Twitter is not different in any other money making service.
    Imagine someone that wants to develop a geo related website, he can buy the geo .com domain so a good tactic is to build a brand behind the twitter equivalent and then promote his website through that account.
    Thats cheaper and most of all can be done more easily than spending millions to get the geo .com domain.

    If you want to change twitter account details, you just enter a new email and thats it.

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