Valuation: ~ $19 billion
Original Domain: twttr.com
Preferred Domain Name: Twitter.com
Jack Dorsey and Noah Glass first developed Twitter when they were employees at Odeo in 2006. The co-founders first called the service “twttr” with it being an SMS-based service that subscribers can use in tracking their friends via status updates. When they want to use the service, they will send a text message to a single main number so that it can be broadcasted to all their friends. Since SMS short codes contain five digits, they tried to acquire “twttr” but Teen People was already its owner – actually, they were already using “txttp”, the same number of digits as twttr.
The twitter.com domain name was already owned by a bird enthusiast but Dorsey and Glass didn’t want to buy it unless their platform was a hit. (An early logo featured a green bubble-font lettering that made “twttr” read like “twtta”, which we love in a way) There have been plenty of joking references about the Wheel of Fortune television show regarding the fact that within six months, the company’s management was already willing to buy the vowels for control over the Twitter.com domain name. While it may have been a big deal back then – Odeo was on the downhill spiral and Ev Williams already had control over both Odeo and Twitter – but the measly amount of $7,500 reportedly paid for the domain name made us wonder if there was much ado about nothing.
The Twitter co-founders enjoyed a true bargain when they acquired their preferred domain name early on even before they know the success of their service and its brand.
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