Last year, Facebook acquired a company called Atlas, and according to the Wall Street Journal, the goal is for the company to “Challenge Google’s Dominance of the Online Ad Space.” With a mainstream advertising platform that will have extensive reach, I think it would be important for the company to own Atlas.com just as Google owns Adsense.com.
The “Atlas” branding is already used by many companies, and the inherent value of Atlas.com is significant. Additionally, the domain name is owned by a domain name savvy company, and the acquisition price of Atlas.com would likely be well into the seven figures. If you visit Atlas.com, you can see the Naming Rights brand, which is affiliated with many other exceptional domain name assets. Some other domain names associated with Naming Rights include Eye.com, Renovation.com, Soho.com, Contact.com, and a variety of other valuable domain names.
If you visit Atlas.com, you can see a sales pitch about why Atlas.com is such a valuable piece of Internet real estate. The landing page touches on the branding aspect as well as the inherent attributes a short domain name such as Atlas.com has. In addition, even prior to Facebook making Atlas more mainstream, the domain name sees a significant amount of traffic. According to the landing page, “Hundreds of thousands of visitors a year type Atlas.com into their browser’s address bar. No advertising, no traffic acquisition costs, this direct traffic is purely a natural resource owned by the domain name owner.” I would imagine this will grow as more people become aware of Atlas.
At the moment, the Atlas platform can be found on AtlasSolutions.com, although it appears the branding is strictly Atlas rather than Atlas Solutions.
Facebook isn’t shy about spending money on domain names it deems necessary for its business. Facebook reportedly paid $8.5 million to the American Farm Bureau Federation in order to acquire the FB.com domain name. I am not even sure if the company is publicly using FB.com at this point.
I would not be surprised to hear about Facebook buying the Atlas.com domain name. If an acquisition happens, I hope that it is large enough for the public company to have to report in a SEC filing. Being able to report a large sale price on a descriptive domain name like this would be good for domain investors.