As one of the most popular social sites on the planet, Flickr is also undoubtedly one of the most popular misspelled domains. Pronounced “Flicker,” Flickr decided to be all Web 2.0-cutesy with its name back in the day. That’s fine, except when someone else owns the Flicker.com domain. Yahoo, which bought Flickr in 2005, has finally done something about that — obtaining Flicker.com.
As we noted a year ago, Flicker.com put itself on sale in a very visible way. Anyone who visited the page was greeted by a logo and statistics about how much traffic the site receives. So how much traffic was Flicker.com getting? 3.6 million unique visitors a year, according to them. Almost all of those hits were direct (95%) undoubtedly because people would misspell Flickr.com as Flicker.com.
The Domains first reported that the WHOIS record has changed, and we’ve since confirmed with Yahoo that they did take control of the domain. “The FLICKER.COM domain has been transferred to Yahoo!,” a spokesperson told us but declined to say anything further. Earlier today, Domain Name Wire reported that a lawsuit settlement gave Yahoo the domain. Back in 2007, Yahoo supposedly offered the owners of Flicker.com $600,000 for the domain, which they supposedly turned down.
For now, Flicker.com is still pointing to the old landing page, but you can probably expect that to change soon.
Update: Flickr co-founder Caterina Fake (no longer with the service — but working on a new startup, Hunch) left the following comment below to with some of the history behind the name:
We tried to buy the domain from the prior owner who made a beer called Flicker Beer. He wasn’t interested in selling. He then, I believe, sold it to the current/former owner. We liked the name “Flicker” so much we dropped the E. It wasn’t very popular on the team, I had to do a lot of persuasion. Then the dropped “E” thing became something of a cliché…
So there you go, Flicker Beer led to the service dropping the “e” and starting a trend (including, at one point, Twitter).