Donald Trump’s recent anger at Twitter and talk of his government potentially closing various social media companies down would have a monumental ripple effect on the domain industry.
What most of the world missed, hidden in the financial crash of 2008, was that it wasn’t just regular businesses that closed because of that crisis. Right around the same time is when Facebook took off at a viral rate the world had never seen before. However, in doing so, it killed thousands upon thousands of smaller niche communities as eyeballs jumped to Facebook where you essentially could keep in touch and keep tabs on anyone you knew online.
The end result was a death to a lot of nice fun websites run by individuals or small groups. As those websites died over the following couple of years, all those domains were dropped.
While I don’t think it’s likely it will ever come to Twitter and Facebook closing their doors, given the erratic nature of the current U.S. administration, the probability is not absolute zero. That being said, there’s a slightly higher, yet still slim chance that there could be some form of changes coming on the horizon.
Ironically enough, the social media giants like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube (Google) are coming to a crossroads where we as a society need to figure out where to draw the line in terms of how responsible they are for the actual content they “Publish”. I deliberately put “Publish” in quotes, because their argument to relinquish responsibility of the content found on their networks, is that they are not the publishers, but that in fact it is their users who are the publishers.
Ultimately whoever is decided to be the actual “publisher”, there’s the important fact that they have a direct financial benefit from the content. So an argument could be made that they still have responsibility even if they didn’t create the content. The final answer also need not be one or the other, but in fact, both users and the social platforms could shoulder various forms of responsibility.
In the end, that argument is a rather complex one with more nuances and consequences than most people realise. However, one thing should be clear to all … which is that if there are closures or strong restriction that are imposed on the big social media platforms, it will be the domain industry that benefits in big way as more and more blogs and groups move to get their own websites where they have far greater control over their content.
It’s actually something the online world should be considering regardless as to what is imposed on social media sites in the next months and years, but if the U.S. administration takes drastic action against them, then the positive effect on demand for domains could be extremely quick depending on the specifics.
To all you domain investors out there: Get ready … Get set … G…