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.me beating .co in start-ups?

Kevin Murphy, February 1, 2012, 18:59:11 (UTC), Domain Registries

The .co top-level domain may have more registrations, but more tech start-ups are opting for .me domain names, according to an informal study.
Doctoral student Thomas Park compiled a list of 1,000 start-ups added to TechCrunch’s CrunchBase database last year and found that entrepreneurs chose .co 1% of the time, versus 1.7% for .me.
As caveats, the difference between the two TLDs only works out to seven companies and .me, which launched in 2008, does of course have a two-year head start over .co.
I’m also guessing that CrunchBase has an English-language bias, which could skew the results. While .co has meaning in more countries it lacks the call-to-action punch of .me in English.
Nevertheless, I think the results are interesting because .CO Internet heavily targets start-ups in its marketing and currently has twice as many domains under management (over 1.1 million) as doMEn, the Afilias/Go Daddy joint-venture .me registry.
Park’s results show that .me had a 0.50% share in 2010 and a 0.80% share in 2009 while .co managed to get one company (0.10%) on the list during the half of 2010 it was live.
The survey found that .com is the runaway first choice for entrepreneurs, with about 85% of the start-up market, but you knew that already.

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Comments (4)

  1. @Domains says:

    Both are relatively small extensions to .com, but I can see .me being using more by start-ups. .co would get too easily mistaken for .com when they try to pitch or advertise the company. .me can have some clever names for a start-up, like or for example. If they can afford it, they should just get the .com

  2. Juan says:

    Having launched in July 2010, I’m glad we popped into the radar! 🙂

  3. Joe says:

    .ME is a great extension, one of the better “repurposed” ccTLDs, but .CO has clear advantage in its numbers (twice the total number of registrations in less than half the time .ME has been around). Anyway the Internet is big enough for both 🙂

  4. I think that Techcrunch’s Crunchbase would miss a lot of the smaller startup activity. Many Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) that focus primarily on their home market may use their local ccTLDs rather than .com as their primary brand. If they are going global, then .com would be the main choice. However there’s also an aspect of intent that may be at play – Social Media startups targeting the English language market might find .me an ideal match.

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