Is there a lesson for new TLDs in the success of .io and .ly?
Over the weekend I was listening to last week’s DNW Podcast again and thinking about Mike Carson’s thoughts on ccTLDs that have taken off compared to new TLDs.
One thing struck me as I thought about this: some of the most used “repurposed” country code top level domain names actually weren’t marketed at all.
Let me explain.
By repurposed, I mean country code domain names that have been adopted by groups that like the extension but have nothing to do with the country. Examples include .io (adopted by tech companies because of the I/O connotation) and .ly (adopted by companies as a sort of domain hack adding -ly to names).
British India Ocean Territory and Libya didn’t set out to make their extensions the next cool thing through a marketing campaign. Instead, companies decided the names were cool.
We’re seeing the same thing with .AI right now.
This is a little bit different from a couple other remarketed domains like .co and .me. In both of these cases, entrepreneurs decided to repurpose the domains and market them. (This might be open to some dispute. I don’t recall if .me was taking off on its own before GoDaddy stepped in to inject marketing muscle behind it.)
Is there a lesson in this for new TLDs? Maybe. I’ve seen some success getting end user adoption through marketing. .Live comes to mind. So seeding a domain with marketing efforts makes sense.
But at the end of the day, you also have to be offering an extension that people want to use.