The world’s smallest active top level domain has seven second level domains.ICANN recently published the latest batch of monthly registry reports, which include data on how many domains are registered in each (non-ccTLD) top level domain. The latest data was for the end of January.
There’s a lot of interesting data in these reports. What I find particularly interesting is looking at what I call “micro TLDs”. These are very small top level domains that are usually sponsored top level domains. Most have very restrictive registration policies that make it difficult to register domains. If the policies were looser, then these TLDs would have many more registrations — although that’s debatable for some of them.
Stumbling upon an active web site in these micro TLDs is rare. It reminds me of the game we played on car trips as children. You tried to spot all 50 state license plates. It was difficult to find an Alaska plate, and the rarest bird was Hawaii. When I find myself on an active .museum web site, it’s like the feeling of finding that elusive Hawaii plate.
Here are some of the micro top level domains. Numbers are as of the end of January.
.Aero – 8,327 domains
Billed as “the world’s first industry-based top level Internet domain”, this domain is solely for use by aviation companies. We’re about to see a lot more industry-based top level domains.
.Jobs – 6,586 domains*
Technically there were 42,597 registered .jobs domains at the end of January. But 36,011 were registered through a business deal to create a bunch of microsite job boards.
.Jobs is being liberated later this year, so you can expect many more registrations.
.Travel – 23,364 domains
Despite official restrictions on this domain, it is basically no longer restricted to travel companies.
.Post – 7 domains
Micro or mini-micro? This slow moving sTLD is only for members of the postal community. A recent news announcement from sponsor Universal Postal Union says that 30 counties have joined a steering committee for .post, but then says that only “several countries have registered for their own sponsored top-level domain name”.
The Universal Postal Union has filed community objections to all of the TLD applications for .mail, as well as a string confusion objection against Deutsche Post AG’s .epost application.
.Museum – 436 domains
Only museums, museums associations and museum professionals can register these domains. The domains are also available as internationalized domain names.
.Coop – 14,990
Designed just for co-ops, which is a larger category than you might think.