The .monster domain is now generally available, though gTLD registrations are falling overall.
There's a time-honored tradition of using April Fool's Day in IT to introduce serious products, the most famous instance of which is Gmail--which celebrates its 15th birthday today. This year, April Fool's Day brings a comparatively non-serious announcement of a real product: The .monster gTLD.
Starting today, users can register a .monster domain at a suggested price of $10, though individual registrars are free to set their own pricing. When ICANN opened gTLD applications, .monster was claimed by the recruiting website of the same name, though is now operated by XYZ, which operates .xyz, .car--and for some reason .cars--among others.
SEE: Recruiting and hiring top talent: A guide for business leaders (free PDF) (TechRepublic)
"Ending your domain in .Monster can show you are a beast at what you do, or it can be used to be wacky and creative," .monster CEO Daniel Negari said in a press release.
Prior to general availability, a total of 84 .monster domains had been registered as of March 27.
To the credit of .xyz, the asking price of $10 is within the budget of small businesses and consumers, though the "who is this for" question is a difficult one to answer. Aside from the (already registered) cookie.monster and pocket.monster, the potential uses for .monster seem limited.
Is there business value in gTLDs?
The prospect of opening up the TLD market to registrars has always been a controversial one. ICANN founding chairman Esther Dyson wrote an argument against the proliferation of new generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs) in 2011, predicting that it would "create lots of work for lawyers, marketers of search-engine optimization, registries, and registrars."
Presently, 26.5 million domains using gTLD extensions been registered, though 14 million of those are unused, parked domains. Some 1.6 million have the status "PendingDelete" or "RedemptionPeriod" indicating their transition into the expiration phase.
Google's .app gTLD, launched in May 2018, is facing a reckoning, as first pointed out by DNW. While .app is presently the 12th most-popular gTLD at 384,000 registrations, 76% of those are parked domains. As these domains come up for renewal as the end of their first year of registration approaches, it appears likely that a great number of them will be deleted.
For more on gTLDs, learn why rampant spam and falling registrations show new gTLDs have limited business value, why ICANN's generic top-level domain rules cause major headaches for online businesses, and how internationalized domain names create phishing risks.
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