You’ll soon be able to register whatever.app. Here’s what you need to know.
Google paid $25 million three years ago for rights to run the .App top level domain name and it’s finally ready to offer it to consumers.
While the original application said the domain would only be available to verified app developers, Google has decided to make it open to everyone. I reached out to Google to understand more about the launch.
Right now the domain is in a qualified launch period but, as you’ll see in the questions below, this is an invite-only opportunity. The domain will move to Sunrise on March 29, Early Access on May 1 and general availability on May 8.
DNW: What’s required to get a domain during the qualified launch period?
Google: The qualified launch period is for pioneer registrants who will host .app sites to showcase interesting uses of the .app TLD. Google is reaching out to candidates through various channels, and at the moment we aren’t soliciting direct applications.
DNW: The .app application said it would be limited to app developers. This restriction has been removed, correct?
Google: That is correct. We have decided to no longer have an explicit restriction, but expect that app developers will be amongst the potential registrants that find most value in this new namespace.
DNW: What is the full launch timeline?
Google: See https://registry.google for dates. All phase transitions occur at 16:00 Z.
DNW: How will the early access period work? Will it be a Dutch auction-style or just the same added fee throughout the EAP?
Google: It will be a seven-day Dutch auction style EAP, as many other gTLD registries have adopted. We hope it will allow registrants that are particularly excited about specific names to not miss out on them.
DNW: What price do you expect registrars will offer the domain for? Or, what is your wholesale pricing?
Google: We priced .app with the intention of providing an affordable option to individuals or companies that are interested in the name. While we still don’t have definitive information from registrars, we expect the price to be lower than for our other TLDs, like .how or .soy.
DNW: Will there be premium domains?
Google: Yes, we will offer premium domains with the price applying to both creation and renewal. More details will be available in the weeks leading to launch.
Here’s my take: .app is the most interesting top level domain name to launch in a long time. I think there will be an opportunity for domain investors to play here assuming the premium domain list isn’t exhaustive. Based on pricing for .how and .soy, I expect the wholesale price for .app domains will be around $10-$12, so you can expect to pay around $20 retail for registrations.