IO: King of Tech

If ‘King .Com’ is the heaviest hitter for the mainstream, then .io is surely the tech sector’s own 800lb gorilla.
But is an .io domain the best look for your brand?

Who should go dot io?

Even if a new user doesn’t know what exactly Mask.io does, to take an example, they may instantly know it is something techy or innovative. And may even feel a certain allegiance or gravitate towards such a site. Or at least suspect it is not the world’s leading supplier of Halloween costumes.

This is how the .io deal works.

And can functions like this because a particular demographic of internet user has been sensitized to .io domains for so long now. They have grown up with it and may even spend much of their day on one .io  domain or another.

In fact, to their eyes, the .com may well seem just a touch out of place!

This is likely a core reason why Mask.io, a leading light in web3, chooses not to use the dot com.

What exactly is the .io extension?

Originally adopted by tech firms for its acronym IO (Input/Output) — used in the computer science context, .io is now so strong in certain verticals that it’s far more than simply a viable ‘alternative’ to older extensions. Rather, depending on your exact focus, it may already have become the go-to extension for your niche.

This is reflected in the sales charts, too, with the price tag for the much younger .io domain regularly exceeding the .com equivalent, and tip-top sales creeping up towards the mid 6 figure range.

The rise and rise of .io

Right now, .io adoption is at a particularly sweet spot in its path. This because while it has become domain shorthand for #TechnologicallyAdvanced, #startup and/or #venturesome, etc. and is achieving six-figure sales, it remains accessible to projects with more moderate financial backing.

Snapped up by informed players in the tech space, many of the top .io domains at this point are still in the hands of a wide range of firms, pools and entrepreneurs. And thus, at least in theory, may be available for private acquisition.

Something which cannot be said for the lists and list of legacy extension domains sitting on the books of major corporations and savvy long-term investment funds. Because if you think a corporation that plans longer in advance than most governments is going to be interested in taking a quick couple of mil now.

Well, then it would seem that the power of a quality domain, still probably the most disproportionately undervalued digital assets out there, has still yet to click with you. Once a domain goes to a such a player, it should for all intents and purposes be considered “off the market forever”.

Signs of .io maturity

Further signs of the maturing strength of the .io identity are also afoot, with larger firms not especially ‘techy’ in scope now choosing it as their home, benefiting from the implied link between .io and innovation.

This trend can be seen, for example, among savvy engineering companies, who may easily have chosen .com as their home but were drawn to the .io because it highlights an emphasis on a committment to innovative engineering solutions (that make more efficient use of available technology, are greener, etc.). In the process, positioning their offering in contrast to the multitude of players in the engineering field.

If the flagship you send into the world consists of a few letters, a dot and another couple of letters, best leverage any available nuance.

An example of .io branding — Vanessa.io

But perhaps engineering is at the end of the day also fairly ‘techy’.
How about woodwork then?

Vanessa.io is a one-woman outfit making one-off pieces of furniture in the Scottish countryside.
From locally sourced wood. And by hand.

Is the technology this craftswoman uses to fashion her brand of chairs and tables older than the hills?
Yes.

Does the user expect that with an .io extension hanging on the end of the brand there will be some innovative edge to Vanessa’s offering?
Yes.

And what do they find upon visiting the site?
Exactly that, handcrafted pieces of furniture that are striking in appearance and highly ergonomic in design.

Now ask yourself would the same user messaging and engagement have been fostered if this craftswoman resided at Vanessa.com or even Vanessa.Furniture?
Likely not.

If the flagship you send out into the world consists of a few letters, a dot and another couple of letters, you better believe that leveraging any available nuance will be worth your while. No matter how large your outfit.

An .io domain can help you capture users that know the score

The potential downside of using .io

The one potential downside of using an .io domain as your brand would be that technically it is still the country code for the British Indian Ocean Territory. This may mean that users who have not been exposed to .io domains may not at first get the (innovative, forward-looking) connotation.

But this is the nature of the beast, and the price to be pay for the targeted scope of the extension. The question therefore is one that should be answered before you position your brand with .io.
As an unestablished brand setting out, are you happy to receive targeted traffic from a younger, more tech-attuned demographic? At the expense of potentially less footfall traffic from the broader spectrum of internet users?

This is also a question that should be answered early on in your search for the perfect name. And one that is based in the results achieved by those brands who have already travelled this path. We suspect that .io may be a little confusing for users who spend their time on mostly legacy extensions domains.

But we know that choosing an .io domain can help you capture users that know the score.

The .io PowerPitch

Dot io is powerful yet niche, expansive yet targeted, capable of helping you quickly win a loyal user base — and saving you a disproportional amount of marketing budget when compared to acquisition cost.

Considering .io for your brand?

Check out our series of articles on .io branding tricks of the trade. They can be read on the popX blog, a space where team members provide ultra-detailed advice on leveraging the power of a killer domain for exponential gain.

Already decided you need an .io brand domain?

Visit the .io section for the latest domains selected from the popX portfolio. Or contact us directly — perhaps the ideal .io domain is already ready for you.

Featured .io brands

Prexy.io  —  Rattler.io  —  350.io  —  Biohazard.io  —  Floret.io

(updated November 2022)

NFTwalk.com

Read about how dot io came to be king of tech domains!

hifreq.com

Read about how dot io came to be king of tech domains!