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Relaunch and slashed prices for .whoswho after terrible sales

Kevin Murphy, September 1, 2016, 17:04:17 (UTC), Domain Registries

New gTLD registry Who’s Who is to slash prices, lift restrictions and drop thousands of reserved names in an attempt to relaunch the struggling business.

From today, its registry fee has been dropped from $75 to $20 a year, and registrants no longer need to prove they’re a big shot in order to buy a name.

Despite the name, Who’s Who Registry is not affiliated with any of the various “Who’s Who” books you may have seen published. It’s run by the same company that owns whoswho.com.

According to CEO John McCabe, it’s only managed to move 88 names since it started selling domains almost two years ago. Judging by registry reports, most of those have been defensive registrations made via corporate registrars.

The lack of sales can be partly blamed on the restrictions that were in place. Would-be registrants had to show that they had featured in a print Who’s Who book in order to be considered for a domain.

Naturally, that’s the kind of preregistration hassle that makes most registrars balk, so eligibility rules are being scrapped altogether, McCabe said.

The company is also releasing some 750,000 domains — most are one, two, three and four-character strings — from registry-reserved status, he said.

About 150,000 of those will be available will be available at the new $20 reg fee, while the rest will fit into tiers ranging from $120 to $39,000.

The pricing for the more expensive domains will revert to $20 upon renewal, which also marks a change from the old business model.

There will also be a three-month 50% promotional discount period, which will apply to all tiers, starting October 15.

The changes bring .whoswho into conformity with tried and tested mechanisms that run in other TLDs using the same back-end, in order to reduce friction for registrars already plugged in to Neustar, McCabe said.

The company hopes to have a couple of thousand names under management by early next year.

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Comments (6)

  1. Ryan says:

    .whoswho is this a joke?

  2. Rubens Kuhl says:

    I guess even the registry wouldn’t be able to register a domain, considering the requirements…

  3. Richard Funden says:

    Almost on par with .wed

  4. OpticalOwl says:

    Doesn’t surprise me, I expect this and several other extensions will fail.

  5. Benny says:

    Well looks like the amendment are withdrawn (again)

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