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Twitter’s t.co domain licensed under the .CO Founders program, officially granted to Twitter (early)

Twitter link service t.co

Last June, Twitter joined the .CO Founders Program with the single letter domain t.co, and the popular microblogging website  used t.co over the past year as part of a service to protect users from harmful activity.   

This week, Twitter was officially granted the domain name t.co from the .CO registry (according to Whois records), in what appears to be an early move by the .CO registry permitting Twitter to register the domain name with their own registrar.

According to the original fine print of the .CO Founders Program, each domain licensed would be granted to the applicant after the applicant met all terms and conditions of the agreement after a minimum of 2 years (or sometimes longer for domains considered “Super Premium” by .CO Internet).  However, in the case of t.co, Twitter has been granted the name much sooner.

You better believe Twitter got a bargain.

Companies like Overstock.com opted to purchase .CO domains.  Overstock paid $350,000 for the single letter domain, o.co.

Other companies like GoDaddy, which was licensed x.co under the .CO Founders program have not been granted the domain as of yet.

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GoDaddy’s .CO marketing blitz enjoys mainstream coverage by USAToday

Godaddy .CO marketing blitz

The USAToday article by Kristena Hansen starts off, “While the “.net,” “.org” and “.gov” Internet domains are growing in popularity among those launching new websites, none have come close to threatening the decades-long reign of “.com.   But the “.co” domain may be the hottest new Web address, one that could be the first real .com competitor, according to some inside the domain-name industry.”

While domain names don’t always get good press coverage, GoDaddy knows how to get press attention using it’s upcoming Superbowl commercial with the unveiling of the new GoDaddy girl to create some serious buzz. 

But that’s not the main subject of the article, .CO domain names are. 

And by the sound of it, the possibilities seem limitless.

Kristena Hansen points out just how positive .CO domain names are.

Unlike other .com alternatives, the .co domain, which gained about 600,000 registered names worldwide since its launch, should do well simply because it sounds so similar to .com, said Richard Merdinger, senior director of domain-registration service for Go Daddy.

“There’s an international recognition of using .co to represent a company,” he said. “We were exceptionally pleased with the volume of registrations we did do so far.”

The .co suffix offers a whole new realm of opportunities for those searching to establish their Web presence, Merdinger said.

Industry insiders see a similar trend.

While you could argue .CO is just another fad that won’t offer any new significant challenges to .COM – with big ticket sales of domain names like o.co and a major marketing blitzy by GoDaddy ready to get underway, 2011 could see whether .CO really has what it takes to be a .COM competitor.

What’s all the buzz about?

Already in 2010, Mike Mann of DomainMarket has sold a number of premium .co domain names such as Cruise.co for $25,000 and Auctions.co for $15,000, but 2011 looks like it will be even better for Mike Mann. 

As Mike Berkens of the blog The Domains pointed out in a recent story, Sedo will be holding a .CO premium domain name auction following the Superbowl.  The auction will include many of Mike Mann’s .CO properties, many of which are listed for as much as $350,000 on his DomainMarket web site.

In the coming weeks, the single letter domain name i.CO will be auctioned off, in what could be the biggest sale of all to date for a .CO domain.  In 2010, o.co sold to Overstock.com for a whopping $350,000.

As far as the USAToday story which first appeared in The Arizona Republic, no one has commented on the article as of yet.  Over at azcentral, the story only managed to get a few comments, the first being a negative comment from a reader who had this to say about .CO: “sorry, but .co will fail. while it may sound similar, it is that very reason it will fail. People are already automatically tuned to typing COM and will forget to drop the M.  As far as the pricing, that is just silly. People buying up names will do so regardless of that small of difference. Make is a hundred bucks and you might see only the most common names get parked.”

It’s still early, but it already seems like .CO is making a big splash in 2011.

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The .CO Domain King: Mike Mann of DomainMarket sells Auctions.co for $15,000

domainmarket

According to the “Recently Sold” section on GreatDomains, Mike Mann of DomainMarket who has sold premium .co domain names earlier in the year such as Cruise.co for $25,000, has sold another .co premium name, this time, Auctions.co for $15,000.

There’s a reason I like to call Mike Mann the .CO Domain King. 

He has one of the best .CO portfolios on the planet, if not the best, as Mike Berkens wrote in August.

Money.co, Advertising.co, Business.co, Movies.co, Bank.co, and the list goes on and on.  

If you’re looking to buy one of these domain names, don’t expect to get them for $15,000 though.  

Most of the .co domains listed on the DomainMarket web site are listed in the five-figure and six-figure range. 

Take a look for yourself.

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Submit your .CO website and find domains in use

Enom Central Connect
Enom Central uses Connect.co to promote the domain

Francois Carrillo’s Flipping.co, a .co domain marketplace, is one of many websites listed on .CO Internet’s directory of active .co domains. 

.CO Internet SAS, which has been marketing its domain on many social media channels, has created an alphabetical directory of .co domains that are actively being used.  

While the directory only lists a couple hundred websites, the number of active .co websites is growing. 

And if you can’t find your own developed .co website, you can submit it to the directory.  The submission form only asks for a few pieces of information, including your domain name, your company name, and a brief description.  You can also send along your logo, which then gets featured on the footer of Opportunity.co.

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Top .CO Domain Sales of All Time

Overstock
On July 20, 2010, Overstock announced it had purchased the domain name O.CO from .CO Internet S.A.S, the official .CO domain registry. The single letter domain, now re-directs visitors to Overstock.com

Currently ranked as the #1 .CO domain sale of all time, the single-letter domain o.co was purchased for $350,000 by Overstock.com.    

In the company’s press release, Overstock stated the company purchased the domain in order to enhance its’  “brand recognition and retention, align with current marketing initiatives, and make it easier for shoppers to find the company’s products and services online.

Market Awareness

As big sales of .co domains like o.co and e.co continue to drive market awareness of the new domain, the demand and sales for .co domains will continue to rise – which has already been seen in the volume of registrations early on.

This month the .CO domain registry is on pace to hit 500,000 registrations – and the publicy reported sales of property.co by Sedo for $25,600 and Mike Mann’s sale of cruise.co for $25,000 this week, could be signs of things to come.

Top .CO Sales of All Time

Expect more big sales in the coming weeks as  the .CO registry has auctions scheduled during the first 3 weeks of August for .co domains that received more than one application during the landrush phase.

The Chart

Here’s a look at the top publicly reported .CO Domain Sales of All Time.   Some of the previous sales in 2006 which appear in Namebio, like Hollywood.co and Lyrics.co are typos.  The domains are actually for the sale of .co.uk, not the .co. 

If you have changes or additions to the chart below, please email webmaster@fusible.com

Rank Domain Price Date Location
#1 o.co $350,000 July 2010 Private Sale
#2 e.co $81,000 August 2010 Sedo.com
#3 property.co $25,600 August 2010 Sedo.com
#4 cruise.co $25,000 August 2010 DomainMarket.com
#5 unity.co $12,500 August 2010 .CO Registry
#6 bankers.co $10,000 August 2010 .CO Registry
#7 gei.co $6,200 August 2010 .CO Registry
#8 163.co $5,778 August 2010 .CO Registry
#9 diapers.co $5,200 August 2010 .CO Registry
#10 hgh.co $5,100 August 2010 .CO Registry
#11 cityjobs.co $4,600 August 2010 .CO Registry
#12 platinum.co $4,511 August 2010 .CO Registry
#13 dedicated.co $3,600 August 2010 .CO Registry
#14 flying.co $3,500 August 2010 DomainMarket.com
#15 airporttransfers.co $3,200 August 2010 .CO Registry
Tied #16 christchurch.co $3,100 August 2010 .CO Registry
Tied #16 good.co $3,100 August 2010 .CO Registry
#17 mexi.co $3,000 August 2010 .CO Registry