DotAPPsolutely Awesome … Maybe

FairWinds Partners ⬥ 29 November

Despite the mayhem that could result from the release of unlimited new TLDs, it is undeniable that there are some pretty interesting possibilities. I was thinking the other day about how cool a .APP extension could be – if done properly of course. It could dramatically enhance the market for mobile applications.


As an increasing number of brands introduce mobile apps, having a .APP TLD could be quite useful. Consumers looking to find a brand’s app offerings, or wondering if a brand even has an app, could simply type in BRAND.APP (example: If Apple, Android, BlackBerry, and others teamed up to sponsor this TLD, they could ensure that all registrants used the extension to point to legitimate apps. In fact, they could require all links to point to applications within the various approved mobile app stores. So, if I were searching for a way to read The Wall Street Journal on my iPhone, I could type in, click the link for the app in iTunes, and download the appropriate application.

I certainly acknowledge that if a more ill intentioned group were permitted to control this extension, unofficial and potentially harmful downloads could be propagated. It’s certainly a risk for which brands must be vigilant. But, I hope that ICANN would be very discriminating in granting TLDs because, with the proper restrictions, this TLD could be useful to consumers who are looking to navigate the thousands upon thousands of apps currently offered. Additionally, it could help protect consumers from links that are possibly harmful by regulating what content can be posted in the extension. However, the free-for-all approach that ICANN is taking with the release of new TLDs could easily mean that this extension would get lost in the shuffle.

And therein lies the problem: if so many new extensions are released, it seems that the likelihood of consumer adoption would decrease significantly. Without the proper marketing (or with marketing overload, depending on how new TLD owners proceed), consumers will not change their Internet search habits and will revert to the omnipresent .COM extension. If released with careful thought and deliberation, new TLDs have an incredible amount of potential. However, it looks as if theseappealing opportunities may get lost among the pandemonium. 

Tags: .com, Android, Apple, BlackBerry, brands, consumer adoption, ICANN, iPhone, iTunes, marketing, mobile apps, The Wall Street Journal, TLDs

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