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“Top Food Takeout App” in China Operates on a .ME

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Did you know the “top food takeout app” in China operates on a .ME domain name? According to Seeking Alpha, the company, Ele.me, raised money in May of last year at a valuation of “between $5.5 billion to $6 billion.” The company made news today when it was announced that Alibaba bought out Baidu and other investors that own the company. Crunchbase shows that the company raised over $3 billion in funding.

As you are likely aware by now, the .ME domain name extension is the ccTLD for the country of Montenegro. Interestingly, it does not look like Ele.me owns the typo Eleme.com domain name. It does own the eleme.cn ccTLD for the Chinese market, but surprisingly, the domain name does not seem to resolve. It looks like someone else

CNN Promotes a CNN.io URL

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Apparently CNN has a text-only alternative method to tune in to its website, created specifically for people who may have a weak Internet connection on their iPhone. The publication is using a .IO domain name for this, as mentioned this evening in a tweet:

For some reason, if you visit CNN.io and not the Lite.CNN.io web address that is promoted, you won’t reach a resolving website. In my opinion, they should forward the main domain name to the “lite” version, at least until they need to use it for something else.

It looks like CNN has owned the CNN.io domain name since 2013, but I don’t recall seeing them promote the url before this evening. In fact, I just did a Twitter search for “lite.cnn.io” and it looks like the first mention of the url was this evening’s tweet.

For those who are in Irma’s path, I wish you the best. Hopefully, you come out unscathed.

Apartment.in is Largest Sale at Sedo’s .IN Auction

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Sedo hosted an auction for .IN ccTLD domain names in conjunction with the WHD.India and NamesCon India conferences. The auction concluded today, and 23 .IN domain names were sold.

The largest sale in the auction was Apartment.in for $9,950. This was followed by Big.in for $4,999 and Get.in for $3,800. In total, just over $36,000 USD worth of domain names were sold. Based on some of the names that were sold (all of which are listed below), I would imagine some of these domain names could be used as “domain hacks” rather than for users targeting India-based companies.

Because the auctions just concluded today, these sales have not yet closed. Once payments for the domain names have been received, Sedo will report the sales publicly.

In other Sedo news today, Sedo broker Dave Evanson reported the sale of NOM.com for $86,500.

Here are the domain names that were sold in the .IN auction at Sedo:

Emoji + ASCII Domains Can Now Be Registered

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Emoji domainsLast November, I asked readers if they would consider registering an Emoji domain name. At that time, a little more than half of the people who voted said they would not consider registering an Emoji domain name. This morning, I was sent an email from Jon Roig, who let me know people can now register domain names with both Emoji and ASCII characters in them.

Here’s what Jon told me about creating Emoji and ASCII domain names along with some examples of them to show their utility:

i❤️.ws  is a new Emoji Domain Registration web app created by the Domain Research Group. For the first time, it lets you create domains which contain a mix of emoji and text.
Some examples:

I think these kinds of domain names are creative for a mobile marketing campaign or a fun way for people who know each other to share a fun link. The downside is that

Indian Government to Give a Boost to .IN Domain Names?

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Sedo’s Albert Schimmel tweeted a link to an interesting article from India’s Economic Times about the Indian government’s effort to give a boost to .IN domain names. As you probably know, .IN is the ccTLD for the country of India.

For Indian companies and entities, .IN domain names are already fairly popular, although .com is apparently even more popular there. The Indian government, which manages the .IN ccTLD, is planning an advertising campaign to encourage Indians to use .IN domain names.

Here is an excerpt from the  Economic Times  article that discusses this upcoming marketing effort:

Is Twitter Going to Kill Value of URL Shorteners?

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URL shorteners became very popular with social media users, particularly users of Twitter. A URL shortener is helpful because it can allow a user to have a longer message if the shortened link is fewer than the 23 characters an automatically shortened link uses (Twitter automatically shortens links to 23 characters with its T.CO links).

From what I have noticed, there are many ccTLD domain names that are used by companies and individuals to act as URL shorteners. Some of these are “branded” shorteners such as Read.bi (Business Insider), NYTI.ms (New York Times), Goo.gl (Google), CNN.it (CNN), ES.pn (ESPN) and NYP.st (NY Post) to name a few. There are also shortener services such as Bitly and X.co to name a couple. Many smaller websites also use their own url shorteners to give them more room for their tweet messages.

According to an article on Bloomberg Technology (Bloom.bg), Twitter plans to

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