Why the Mobile Internet Needs LLLL.coms, not .mobi

The main advantage of .mobi is that a user is guaranteed a mobile compatible website. While other claims such as reduced bandwidth and costs can be attributed to .mobi domains at present, these advantages will evaporate in the future with the introduction of WiMax/WiBro type services, not to mention 4G. So what does this mean for the future of the mobile web?

Names like m.domain.com and domain.com/mobile for the mobile versions of a particular domain name are both long and cumbersome on the large majority of non-qwerty cell phones. Short names are needed. Ironically enough, .mobi is four letters while .com is three. Going beyond that though…

Let’s take the Indiana Business Magazine example from a couple days back… They might own indianabusiness.com, but neither m.indianabusiness.com, indianabusiness.com/mobile, nor indianabusiness.mobi are particularly desirable on the mobile web… In stark contrast, IBMI.com (Indiana Business Magazine Incorporated) is both short and descriptive. This isn’t some made up acronym — it identifies exactly who they are and at the same time, is much more convenient for customers.

The New York Times currently redirects NYT.com to nytimes.com. Once mobile catches on, who wants to bet on NYT.com serving a more important role than an $XX,XXX redirect?

I do think .mobi will find it’s niche in websites strictly “Made for Mobile”. However, I see a large portion of mobile domain spending heading towards LLL.coms and LLLL.coms… Companies will want short names. It’s a known fact that extremely long domain names are undesirable and expensive to own (in terms of lost traffic and sales). Why would the mobile web be any different? Matter of fact, when it may very well take 3 keystrokes to enter a single letter, it makes you wonder how patient your average user will be. I think it’s safe to say those 15 letter names are out of the question…

 As if LLLL.coms needed something else to be excited about right now… But the mobile web is real and coming to a cell phone near you soon (if not already). Large corporations like IBM are predicting that billions of dollars will be spent over the next few years on mobile advertising… There will be huge demand for short domain names and we are all ever so fortunate to be holding what we are.


~ by Reece on December 22, 2007.

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