Facebook just introduced Camera, a new mobile app that makes using Facebook photos faster and easier. And on the very same day of the announcement, it appears Facebook privately registered Facebook Studio Edge domain names like FacebookStudioEdge.com.
On May 24, 2012, the dotcom, dotnet and dotorg versions of the names were registered through the internet brand protection company MarkMonitor, of which Facebook is a client.
The owner is hidden behind MarkMonitor’s privacy service DNStination, so there is a slight chance Facebook isn’t behind the names. But considering MarkMonitor’s trackrecord with Facebook, it is unlikely anyone else.
At the time of this story’s posting, none of the domains resolve to a web page and Facebook has made no official announcement about Facebook Studio Edge.
The light bulb, which was developed with Lighting Science Group, connects to the Android operating system using a new wireless protocol. Google originally said the light bulb would start selling before the end of the year, but with the New Year only a couple weeks away, it looks it may be a little bit longer before the light bulb shows up on store shelves.
As part of its marketing activities, it appears Google may launch a website on Googlighting.com, a domain name it apparently registered on December 16 (WHOIS). Googlighting.net was also registered on the same day.
Both names were registered through the internet brand protection company MarkMonitor, which Google regularly uses to acquire domain names. Currently, the owner of each domain is hidden behind MarkMonitor’s WHOIS privacy service ‘DNStinations’, but you can bet your money that Google is the registrant, considering MarkMonitor’s client list includes over half of the Fortune 100 companies.
As of today, Googlighting.com doesn’t resolve to a web page.
[Update 1 on February 21, 2012: Turns out Google wasn’t behind the domain registrations, Microsoft was. According to BGR, “Microsoft has launched an all-out assault on Google and its cloud-based Google Apps product.”]
While I had nothing more to work on than new domain registrations, an anonymous reader sent me a tip that a Facebook page was online, further solidifying my belief that a game was in the works and near launch day.
Shortly after my story ran, accompanied by screen shots and a web address, the page was taken offline.
Zynga, even with all the proof, made no announcement despite Games.com, AllFacebook, and other sites covering my story, so there was still some lingering doubt about the game.
Though Zynga does not officially comment on speculation or rumor, this week it has officially gone on record indirectly, by filing a trademark application (Serial Number: 85487695) for “Forestville” with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
Here’s a look at the trademark filing.
Expect to see a press release from the social gaming giant on “Forestville” soon.
Today, an anonymous reader has tipped me to the fact there is a Facebook page that has been online almost a week, which offers more clues about the game.
The page appears to be legit.
A description of the game published on Facebook reads: “Help Daisy the fox and her furry friends build a fabulous forest habitat! Establish farms and fishing spots for food, decorate with natural wonders, and expand your forest to unlock new species. Play ForestVille from Zynga and create the forest of your dreams!”
While there is no game yet available to download and play, there is a photo album that includes pictures of Daisy the fox.
All of the names were registered through the internet brand protection company MarkMonitor that Zynga regularly uses to acquire domain names.
And as I usually point out, though each domain registration is hidden behind MarkMonitor’s WHOIS privacy service ‘DNStinations’, MarkMonitor is in the business of helping Fortune 100 companies protect their brands online. Zynga’s own Zynga.com is registered with MarkMonitor, as are hundreds of its other domains.
So, there’s no doubt whatsoever that Zynga is behind these names.
Interestingly enough, Zynga doesn’t own the prime internet real estate: Forestville.com. The domain is currently home to the Forestville Central School District website out of New York. But that hasn’t stopped Zynga from registering typos of Forestville.com like wwwforestville.com (minus a ‘.’) or forestvile.com (minus an ‘l’).
Zynga did manage to get several country domains like Forestville.de, Forestville.jp and Forestville.co.uk. A message on the home page of Forestville.de reads, “This domain is registered and protected by MarkMonitor”.
Below is a list of many of the names registered earlier this week.
At the time of this story going online today at 5am EST, Zynga has not made any announcement about the game. So Forestville becoming a full-fledged game is just speculation until more news emerges from Zynga.
I’ve reached out to the Forestville.com webmaster to see whether they had been contacted about the domain and will update this story if I hear back.
Here’s a look at the WHOIS record for ForestvilleZynga.com.
[Update 3 on Dec. 14, 2011: Zynga finally announced the game on it’s blog.]
[Update 2 on Dec. 9, 2011: Zynga filed a trademark application (Serial Number: 85487695) for “Forestville” with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.]
[Update 1 on Dec. 5, 2011 at 4:10pm EST:It’s official. There is a Facebook page for Forestville. The game is headed to iOS, but hasn’t launched as of yet.]