Facebook prototype facemash.com up for sale

Facebook itself may be worth quite a lot of money now – as much as $33 billion, by some counts. But for those who don’t mind owning a prototype version, the site’s predecessor, facemash.com, is up for sale.

Facemash, created in October 2003, was Mark Zuckerberg’s first shot at Facebook. It originally held the ‘Hot or Not’ website which Zuckerberg founded at Harvard to compare the relative physical attraction of female students.

The URL is currently up for auction on the Flippa site with a reserve price of just $8,000. Even so, it’s failed to attract any bids.

“This is a piece of Internet history – history of a website that perhaps is second only to Google in global influence!” reads the listing.

The vendor claims that since the movie The Social Network was released, traffic has risen to over 1,000 hits a day, although 600 a month is more usual.

“Not only that, the site is currently leased (no contract) on a month to month basis to an upstart Social Network for $100/mo and they are open to discussing Equity ownership in Feb 2011,” says the vendor.

The vendor says he came to acquire the URL because Zuckerberg let it lapse, and has suggested that Myspace might like to buy it. But any potential buyer will have to weigh very carefully the possible legal consequences.

The auction has another 20 days to run.