As some folks have noticed already, Automattic is now a “real” domain registrar (ID #1531). This has been a goal of mine for several years now, chiefly because I am a bit of a domain collector myself and I’ve never been completely satisfied with the domain buying or management experience on any of the usual players. Second, custom domains are a popular feature on WordPress.com and should become even more popular with some changes we’re introducing this month and it’ll be good to be able to provide a fully integrated experience for our users there. It’ll be a few months while we build all the tools necessary to begin taking advantage of our registrar status so in the meantime we’ll continue to use Godaddy, who has been an excellent partner. (Matt Mullenweg, founder of WordPress).
Depending on their prices, domain registration could potentially provide WP.com with yet another major revenue stream outside of WordPress VIP, various premium services and VaultPress (the latter which is still currently in beta).
It’s still unclear as to which domain extensions Automattic will be able to register (aside from the .com, .net and .org tLD’s), although hopefully the company will be able to expand its reach into international extensions like .co, .uk or .wp (note: joking on the last one!).
(Image Credit: Norebbo)