According to WHOIS records, Facebook is now the owner of the domain Instachecker.com.
Facebook acquired the name through the internet brand protection company MarkMonitor.
Considering the word “insta” in the domain, instachecker likely has something to do with Instagram, the online photo-sharing company that Facebook bought in 2012. For now, it’s just speculation, as Instachecker may be nothing more than a defensive registration to protect its Instagram service.
Instachecker.com was first registered in late May 2012. The previous owner used a WHOIS privacy service, so the price paid for the domain will likely never be known.
The social networking company doesn’t seem all that interested in “Instachecker” if you look purely at domain registrations, having only acquired the dot-com. The dot-net, dot-org, and other top-level domain names are still available.
As of today, a website that promised users beta codes to the yet-to-be-announced “Modern Warfare 4” has been taken down.
The website went offline only after news of the scam, which operated on the domain name ModernWarfare4Beta.com, spread across the internet in the past 24 hours.
A YouTube video apology posted earlier by Sn4gamers “claims” they hired a third-party to help grow their Facebook page, but were unknowingly victims of a scam themselves.
Being a victim seems somewhat questionable, since the Facebook message stayed online for days before being deleted.
The good news is, the site is now offline.
The scam involved promising beta codes to “Modern Warfare 4” if users posted a link to the site to other game pages on Facebook, including the official Call of Duty Facebook page, which has more than 1 million likes.
You can see screenshots of the fake beta site here and get an idea of what unsuspecting people encountered when visiting the page, now that nothing but an error page appears online.
Sn4gamers also deleted a Facebook post encouraging users to visit the site and download the MW4 beta code.
This isn’t the first time and won’t be the last time a fake beta website crops up online.
Just last year, Microsoft took control of the domain names Halo4Beta.biz and Halo4Beta.net, after filing complaints against their owners.
In January 2013, Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc, filed several domain complaints against the owners of Grand Theft Auto V beta domain names.
The domain getgtavbeta.com has already been ordered transferred to Take-Two, while three other cases are pending that involve gtavbeta.org, betagtav.com and gtavbeta.net.
UPDATE 2 – March 5, 2013 – The WHOIS record has been updated from this to this.
UPDATE 1 – March 4, 2013 – The home page of ModernWarfare4beta.com now displays the video explanation that was uploaded to YouTube.
Watch Dogs has been generating a lot of buzz in the video game community since it was first announced at E3 2012.
Last June, on the very same day Ubisoft kicked off its E3 press conference and unveiled Watch Dogs, the company registered a bunch of new domains like WatchDogs2.com, WatchDogs3.com, WatchDogs4.com and WatchDogs5.com.
However, one name was missing from the list: WatchDogs.com. That’s because the name had a different owner.
The exact sales amount is unknown since the sale wasn’t publicly reported, but given WatchDogs.com is a pretty strong name on its own, the price was likely in the five-figure range.
I can only speculate on the sales price. Although it’s not necessarily apples to apples, watchdog.co.uk sold for over $4,000 USD in 2011 according to DNJournal. So you can only imagine how much watchdogs.com sold for, especially with all the press around the video game.
Since it was first reported Saturday that Microsoft had been obtaining “Xbox Gold” domains, the company has gone on the offensive registering a slew of “Xbox Gold” domains on Monday, including several international names.
These latest names are just a sampling of what Microsoft has been buying up, at a time when rumors of the next-generation Xbox being officially announced to the public within the next several weeks.
The newest registrations all took place on February 25, two days after news broke that the company had been taking an interest in “Xbox Gold” domains.
Microsoft has yet to confirm the name of its next-gen Xbox, but it’s widely speculated possible names include the Xbox 720, Xbox Infinity, Xbox 8, Xbox Durango, and Xbox Next.
Despite the unusual amount of “Xbox Gold” activity, last week and this week, it’s unknown where “Xbox Gold” ultimately fits in.
Is “Xbox LIVE Gold” being rebranded? Is “Xbox Gold” a new service? The speculation is swirling.
“Xbox Gold & Entertainment” was mentioned in an internal event agenda over the weekend, that was originally posted on the NeoGAF forum.
As promised, I did reach out to the previous owner of XboxGold.com (which Microsoft acquired last week) to find out more details about the transaction and find out if Microsoft opened up their checkbook, but have not received a response.
According to WHOIS records, Microsoft also took ownership of FreeXbox.net from the same Australian resident, so it’s possible lawyers were involved and not cash. Considering the company has won dozens of domain disputes dating back to 2003 that involved names like HackingXbox.com, it would be hard to imagine that it paid a large sum of money, unless of course, they were looking to expedite the transaction.
Disputes can often takes weeks, if not months, to decide. And it’s possible, Microsoft wants to position itself with the matching domain — something neither Sony nor Nintendo were able to do. Nintendo finally did file a complaint over Wiiu.com last week on the same day the name was to head to private auction.