Happy 1st birthday, .app!

8th May 2019

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Happy 1st birthday, .app!  A year ago today, .app became generally available as the first open top-level domain (TLD) with built-in security. Hundreds of thousands of people have registered .app domains the last 12 months, but we were curious to see which of our favorite .app websites used another domain before they snagged their .app domain.

Shorter, better domain names

A 2009 study on whether domain length matters showed that of the top 1,000 websites, the average domain length was 7 characters before the dot. We surveyed 100 of our favorite .app website owners and found that half of the 63 people who responded had previously used another domain. On average, our survey respondents went from having a domain with 9 characters to 7 characters with their .app domain.

Let’s look at some before/after examples and what the app creators had to say.

  • From loadsterperformance.com to loadster.app: “The .com for our brand was not available and we've been unable to contact the owner in the interest of purchasing it, so we wanted something equally short and recognizable. I'm glad we went with .appparticularly among our audience of developers and testers, it's fast achieving the recognition and street cred that .io had several years ago.” -Andy Hawkes, Founder
  • From strongapp.io to strong.app: “Our company name is Strong, but of course strong.com was not available. Our only product is an app, so strong.app just made sense. It also gave us a better alternative to strongapp.io.” -Cameron Chow, CEO and Co-Founder
  • From popcorn.asia to popcorn.app: “Mobile is a very important part of our strategy, and the .app domain helps us differentiate and emphasize that.” -Ken Ming Lee, CEO and Founder
  • From bear-writer.com to bear.app: “The .app domain is really easy to remember and write in a browser url field, which is good when hyperlinks are not available.” -Danilo Bonardi, CEO

Choosing the right domain is a balance of being as short as possible but also descriptive. We also observed some apps move off of a country code top-level domain (ccTLD) onto .app. This was the case for forecast.app (formerly forecast.it), kwit.app (formerly kwit.co), and freemi.app (formerly freemi.dk / freemi.nl). Even though the ccTLDs they were using had two characters instead of three, the appeal of having a more descriptive domain name won out. We couldn’t put it better than what Aydin Mirzaee, Founding Fellow of fellow.app said, “.app brings it all together. It feels like the right place for an app vs. choosing a country tld that was really meant for something else. It feels like it transcends boundaries.”

We hope that whatever app you’re building transcends boundaries! Visit get.app to get yours today.

Looking for more inspiration? We’ve rounded up 100 of our favorite .app websites below.