When the applicants for new gTLD’s were announced by ICANN in what was called the “big reveal” one of the biggest surprises we noted was the absence of an Apple application for .App.
Now it seems we know why Apple passed on applying for the new gTLD .App, the are going to let developers use Vanity Domains off of its AppStore.com
“”At the end of the commercial for the upcoming “Star Trek: Into Darkness” film, Paramount flashed a quick promotion for its iOS app, complete with an AppStore.com link that takes people right to it. In function it’s identical to what Apple already uses through its iTunes links, but this one’s designed so that people can quickly type it into a mobile device or remember it for later”.
“AppStore.com can be changed by developers, which in this case is AppStore.com/StarTrekApp. Developers can pick this out when submitting an app, or plug their company name into it to do a search for multiple apps on the App Store”.
“The late Apple CEO Steve Jobs famously acquired AppStore.com as a personal gift from Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff following the introduction of the digital store during a keynote in 2008″.
As TechCrunch.com noted:
You can also create easy-to-read links to your app using App Store Short Links, which use the AppStore.com base URL plus a specific form of your app or company name. This provides a simple way for users to find your apps on the App Store directly from your website or marketing campaigns. These short links are ideal for use in offline communications materials like print ads, TV spots, app trailers, radio ads and billboards.
“Domain names can also be configured to point to either the company itself (e.g. http://appstore.com/gameloft) or the app (e.g. http://appstore.com/wheresmyperry)”.
“These new vanity URLs could quickly turn into a land grab in the crowded App Store, which now has some 800,000 mobile applications available in the iOS App Store alone”.
“That competition is something which Apple has prepared for, though. The company says that in the case of name conflicts or other errors, URLs with multiple results like appstore.com/airhockey, will direct users to a search page. Developers are encouraged to come up with unique names for their apps instead, to prevent this problem for occurring.”
There were 13 companies that paid $185,000 to apply for the .App new gTLD including Amazon and Google.
So the big question is what does this do to the value of the new gTLD .App?
It certainly will change the business plans of a lot of the applicants, as Apple is giving away the Vanity Domains away for free.
Its not only the applicants for .APP new gTLD who is going to be effected by this move by Apple but domain holders of current extensions as well.
We all know that App developers are buyers of .com and other extensions, with the move by Apple some developers maybe happy just to go with a free vanity domain from Apple rather than buying an existing domain name.