The Story Behind Face.com

| June 5, 2012

There was a lot of  buzz last week about Face.com being acquired by Facebook. To find out more about the historical aspect of Face.com, there are many research tools you can leverage via DomainTools to piece together a full story:

1. What’s the Whois History of Face.com…how many record changes have there been over the years and what are the details? There are 976 historical whois records associated with Face.com dating back as far as 2001 when it was registered with Face Software, based in New York. Below is a graphic representing the number of historic records from 2001 to present day.

Let’s check out the historical Whois History and Hosting History records to learn more such as:

Was there a transfer of ownership, including changes in contact information (email addresses, name servers) to indicate how the direction of Face.com change dover time?

YES. The greatest number of ownership transfers occurred in 2007, which included changes in name servers and contact information.

Here are some additional changes worth noting:

  • From the first Whois record up through August 5, 2012, Face.com was registered under ‘Face Software’ in New York, USA.
  • On August 6th, 2007, the registration went to an individual in the UK and then a day later, back to New York.
  • Name server changes occurred between July 22, 2008 and August 19, 2008.
  • From August 17, 2008 to August 19, 2008, registration changed to a new (and current) registration contact of John Berryhill, a prominent lawyer in the domain industry.

With all of these registration changes, see how well they match up with the content changes documented via Screenshots.com, below?

2. What’s the visual history of Face.com? Screenshots.com has the answer.

  • Looking back to 2005, you can see that Face Software used to be a software development and consulting services company.
  • In December of 2007, the homepage featured a ‘link contest’ with a call to action form
  • February 14, 2008 homepage content featured a parked page
  • Then on December 18th, 2008, we identified a more branded teaser landing page introducing the idea of facial recognition with a prompt to sign up to join the beta program. (A registration listing John Berryhill as the technical/billing contact).
  • On June 8, 2009 the company projected homepage content that identified itself as a photo finder on Facebook.
  • From then on until 2012, homepage content stayed consistent with branding as a Facebook photo finder as we know it today.
    • It’s really interesting to look at Whois History records to pinpoint specific dates of when registration shifted and see the website direction change along with it by leveraging screenshots! Have you used additional tools from DomainTools to investigate a domain name? Or conducted a similar investigation?

    P.S. If you aren’t already a Professional Member of DomainTools, sign up for our free 3 day trial and get access to all kinds of valuable domain name research and monitoring tools (such as Whois History!). Get started now and download the full Face.com report or any other Whois History report you’d like.

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    Category: Domain Research, Domain Tools Updates, Screenshots.com, Whois, Whois History

    About the Author ()

    Monica is the Senior Marketing Manager at DomainTools.

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    1. Web Wise Forum says:

      Very interesting History!

      It would be interesting to know how long Facebook have had their eye on this domain. I would think quite a long time!

      A staggering amount of changes, even for an aged domain!