Size Matters When it Comes to App Names

My favorite kind of domain name to buy is one word .com domain names. I have done well selling this type of asset, and I think they enhance my portfolio. I don’t own many non .com domain names, but I think one word non .com domain names sell regularly as well. Not all one word domain names are equal, and I want to share some advice I picked up a while ago that serves as a helpful guideline to me.

When app developers create their brand names, they need to be cognizant of the length of their brand name for display purposes on an iPhone or other mobile device. Having the name of the brand listed below the icon is important for branding, and it is something I understand many app developers consider when choosing a brand name and matching domain name.

Have a look at the apps on your phone for a minute. Check out the names underneath them. My Sonos controller is the only app I have that has a name that is cut off because it is too long (it says Sonos1Contr…). Some of the longer names for apps I have include Google Maps, Voice Memos, and Authenticator. These all fit below the icon.

Here’s a Quora question that asks about the length of a name that fits under an app on a phone along with some discussion about the topic.

For the apps I use, I do not see any domain name extensions included in the app title. If the domain name without the extension is longer than what the smallest mobile device will allow, an app developer may not consider buying it since they will have to use different branding on their app.

In my opinion, an app developer looking for domain names may wish to add the .io, .CO, .ai, or other extension to its app name to avoid confusion. This would mean the domain name should be even shorter since the .extension will take up an extra three or four characters. Some don’t do this because some feel an app doesn’t need an accompanying website and domain name. I suppose that is a matter of choice for the app developer.

I have never bought a domain name for an app, but knowing that some app developers consider the length of a domain name has helped play a small role in my acquisition targets.

Elliot Silver
Elliot Silver
About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has closed eight figures in deals. Please read the Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest. Reach out to Elliot: Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn


  1. Yeah, .app is really not worth the trouble typing in that extra letter to let the whole world know that it’s an app. Much rather use something like a .co, .io, .ai to keep people on their toes and leave it up to them to try to figure out if it’s an app, a website, a startup, or a wildcard. Sure we all use the word app everyday but who cares. I mean, what could a website like possibly mean? It’s all so confusing.

    • This has very little to do with the extension and much more to do with the keyword in the domain name.

      The one extra character in .app probably won’t make much of a difference, especially if the keyword in the domain name is short. I wouldn’t, however, use an extension like .Boston or something long if that needs to be added to the app name, as it would be unlikely to fit.

      At the end of the day, if the app developer feels that it is important to add the domain name extension to the app name for display on a phone screen, a shorter extension is better since it will allow for more letters in the brand. If the brand is short enough, perhaps it doesn’t even matter.

      I’ve never developed an app, but I know the length of the domain name matters to some people who do.

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