It looks like Twitter is becoming aggressive in protecting its brand. In the second domain-related story of the week, Twitter has shown an interest in obtaining a domain that’s been public for some time: re-tweet.com, in this case.
First reported by Fusible, the story had some serious (and misguided) speculation that Twitter might start its own Tweetmeme button competitor with the purchase of the domain. Instead, it looks like Twitter’s acquisition of re-tweet.com is merely part of a “brand protection strategy” and that the domain is more likely to remain dormant or redirect to Twitter.com than spark a new product.
The re-tweet.com domain has traded hands twice in the past several months. It sold at public auction on March 28th for $150, apparently to a David Quinlan according to the domain auction website Flippa.
And while the blogs were speculating on the potentially massive price tag that Quinlan could have received from Twitter for the domain (TheNextWeb reports that retweet.com sold for $250,000 in 2010), the real story is apparently less-than-juicy.
TechCrunch reached out to Twitter about its July 13th ownership of re-tweet.com, and I think the response puts to rest any rumors of an official Tweetmeme competitor from Twitter:
“The owner offered to give the domain to us, and we now manage it as part of our routine brand protection strategy. So, no plans to take over the world with re-tweet.com.”
This is the second domain-related story that Twitter has been in the center of this week. On Tuesday, it was revealed that Twitter had filed a complaint against the owners of twiter.com for violating their trademark.