Five years ago — on September 26, 2006 — the .mobi domain opened its doors for registrations. Only five years ago but, back then, no iPhone. No Android. The Motorola Razr was still cool (if lower-end). My state-of-the-art mobile device was a Wi-Fi-enabled Palm device (without a phone). Conversations at mobile events often centered around Blackberries and what interesting things they could do.
Today, I know one person who still uses a Razr. Palm ... thought about them lately, outside of the "What's up with HP" discussions? Blackberry. We've all watched that stock drop; some of us are hoping they find a new niche rather than circle the dead pool. And who even saw an iPad on the horizon?
But, despite all those radical changes on the mobile front, .mobi as a domain has continued to grow. There are now more than one million active registrations and .mobi is the sixth largest generic Top-Level Domain in the world (.com, .net..org. .info and .biz come before it.) There are now two-character domains like nv.mobi and 53.mobi. There are now .mobi sites covering the world, in every vertical. (And in South Africa, ".mobi" is synonymous with "mobile website," e.g., "Our product needs a .mobi built before we launch.")
And mobile content is no longer an after-thought. Read what Google said just last week in regards to mobile-ready content and the Google advertising platform, "We will be introducing the mobile optimization of a website as a new factor of ads quality for AdWords campaigns that are driving mobile search traffic. As a result of this change, ads that have mobile optimized landing pages will perform better in AdWords — they will generally drive more mobile traffic at a lower cost." [Italics mine.]
The .mobi domain was created to help make the mobile Web a viable endeavor. And we can all say the mobile Web, since then, is in everyday use. Did the .mobi domain alone do that? The iPhone certainly helped. But so did dozens of other convergent technologies and services. And it's part of the reason the dotMobi company's other products — primarily the goMobi site creator and DeviceAtlas mobile device database — have been successful. Our mobiForge cross-platform developer forum now has more than 50,000 active members, and our mobiThinking forum continues to be a sourcebook of choice for marketers globally
So happy birthday, .mobi! It's been five exciting years; I can't wait to see what the next five hold!
Written by Vance P. Hedderel, Written by Vance P. Hedderel, Director, PR and Communications, dotMobi
Headquartered in Dublin, dotMobi - a wholly owned subsidiary of Afilias Limited - is a worldwide leader in enabling the development & discovery of quality mobile content through innovative services, in turn helping businesses and individuals reach the world's billions of mobile phone users. dotMobi spurs mobile industry innovation by giving content providers the tools they need to ensure the Web will work on mobile phones with speed, accuracy and relevant content. (Learn More)
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