Losing a long-term domain name can represent a very disruptive and damaging turn of events for businesses operating online. A valuable domain name might end up costing a company millions in attempts to get it back – or millions in lost revenue from lost links leading to valuable content.
Often, owners forget to renew their domain registration – but that’s not the case with Kit, a service designed around serving the influencer market. By using the service, influencers can easily bundle a number of products into “kits” and then recommend them to their audience, profiting from affiliate links.
But Kit – formerly a Patreon asset that was sold earlier this year to GeniusLink – can no longer be found at Kit.com.
The service, now at Kit.co, is left scrambling to mitigate the damage this situation has produced. GeniusLink said it was working “to prevent business interruptions” while also telling influencers that preserving their traffic and search engine presence is “a top priority.”
“When we took Kit under our wings a few months ago, the fate of the Kit.com domain was not completely settled as it was owned by a third party. However, we did own Kit.co, and we knew that no matter what, we could fall back on it if needed. Unfortunately this last Thursday, November 21st, the owners of the Kit.com domain (not Patreon) informed us that they were no longer interested in selling it to us, and they were going to repurpose the domain for a different property in the very near future. We were given two weeks to prepare.”
And while the new owners of Kit.com are currently redirecting to Kit.co – GeniusLink admits that it “cannot guarantee these redirects will last forever.”
So how did Kit lose its domain name? It boils down to Patreon’s lack of interest in acquiring it when they bought the company in 2018. The domain name was and remains owned by “a third party.” But Patreon didn’t make an effort to include Kit.com in the deal, leaving the service at the mercy of the original owner.
The reason why becomes obvious from the motivations the crowdsourcing platform had in buying buy Kit in the first place, and getting rid of it only a year later. In the words of Patreon’s senior product vice president, it was essentially a case of “acqui-hire.”That means that the company was bought for its talent, while the service was no longer developed but merely maintained.
In fact, Patreon quickly “reassigned the lead product development” to work on its own merch service.