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The Next Big Thing? - .xyz

| 06.06.2014 |

There is a new Internet domain extension called .xyz and it is already attracting a great deal of attention. Indeed, right after it launched on March 20, the .xyz domain received its first brand registration from the celebrated fashion house Chanel – and can you look that up at Chanel.xyz!


We spoke with Shayan Rostam, the production manager behind .xyz, to discuss the value of this new domain extension.


Q: What was the inspiration for having the .xyz domain?


Shayan Rostam: Our founder, Daniel Negari, made a list of thousands of possible domain extensions to operate before finally narrowing it down to the final three that we applied for: .xyz, .College, and .Now. We are happy to be the official registry operator for both .xyz and .College (which is launching later this year), and we are still in contention for .Now.


From the start, the vision for .xyz was to be a truly flexible (or “generic” in the domain world) and affordable domain extension for the millions of people who are coming online for the first time. In other words, we wanted to launch a competitor to .com that could be used for any purpose by any individual or business anywhere in the world. .xyz accomplishes this mission by offering familiarity and intuitiveness as the last three letters of the Latin alphabet while also introducing innovation by being the first domain extension to be launched as a globally marketed generic platform. Many people don’t know this, but .com was originally intended only for commercial use, .net for networks, and .org for organizations.


It was also important for us to offer people their first choice domain name at a competitive price. Based on our research, registrants typically search for 8 different unavailable .com domain names before finally settling on their 9th choice. With .xyz, they can now register the exact name they want for $9.99 on a number of our registrar partners’ sites. .xyz is exactly what people all over the world want, and as a result, we have projected 1 million registrations in our first year of availability.


Q: Why would a business want to have a .xyz domain?


Shayan Rostam: .xyz can be used for any purpose in any industry in any market. Businesses don’t want to be boxed in by one label. Just about every company offers more than one product or service, and many times a one keyword suffix doesn’t accurately represent their entire business. Companies are able to use .xyz as a cohesive consumer-facing platform for all of their products, promotions, and microsites.


For example, Tesla doesn’t own Tesla.com, but rather TeslaMotors.com. With .xyz, they have the opportunity to not only register Tesla.xyz, but also ModelS.xyz, ModelX.xyz, as well as other upcoming models, while keeping TeslaMotors.com as their corporate site.


Along these same lines, .xyz gives businesses the chance to upgrade their existing domain name. I just did a quick search for an architect in Los Angeles and came across a firm called GMP Architects. Their domain name is GMParchitects-LA.com. Not only is their domain name long and unmemorable, but it also doesn’t pass the radio test because of the hyphen - which they undoubtedly used due to a lack of good available options. Now, GMP can register GMP.xyz, GMParchitects.xyz, GMPLA.xyz, or even Architects.xyz. Each of these are much shorter and more memorable than the .com they currently use, and they are able to secure them for less than $10 each.


And because .xyz is a global extension, businesses like GMP can leverage their .xyz domain names to be found by potential clients and customers all over the world. We encourage this through the online community we are cultivating called Generation XYZ, which is the idea of connecting people and businesses all over the world regardless of their age, location, interests, or industry.


Q: Which are the major companies that currently have a .xyz domain extension?


Shayan Rostam: We’ve seen many big names in a number of different markets register their portfolios in the .xyz namespace. Some of the businesses who participated in our trademark-exclusive registration period include Microsoft, Google, Amazon, Facebook, WordPress, and Yahoo.


Q: How can people register for this new domain extension?


Shayan Rostam: Over 200 registrars have signed our agreement to carry .xyz, including all of the biggest domain retailers in the world like Go Daddy, Name.com, Network Solutions, and 123-Reg. If someone already has a domain portfolio with a specific registrar, they can preregister .xyz domain names by searching their website or calling the registrar before June 2. They can also search for domain names on our website, www.gen.xyz. Starting on June 2, .xyz will be available for general availability as the most affordable new domain extension on a first-come-first-served basis.