What's with startups using .io domains?


I'm looking for a domain name and I've seen there are some new services launching with .io domain, is this suppose to mean something or there just choose it because it's short


asked Dec 26 '10 at 08:44
204 points
  • Of the many new or 'alternative' TLDs, maybe some like IO because it sounds 'computerish'. I/O for input-output is an old abbreviation in IT. – Jesper Mortensen 13 years ago
  • When you can acquire an easy to remember 5-8 character domain name, it's hard to pass up. The `.io` ones are still pretty open in terms of properties you can acquire. Four letters + .com are pretty much all taken unless you mix a number or two in there. – Travis 12 years ago
  • shouldn't they like Italy too? IT? – Umair Ashraf 12 years ago
  • .it would be nice too, but it's for italy and they require residency -- .io does not, anyone can buy them. – Chovy 11 years ago

3 Answers


http://www.nic.io/ The .io domain is allocated for the British Indian Ocean area: http://www.nic.io/rules.html. Some start-ups seem to like using these types of top-level domains to build cutsey domain-hacks; http://pistacch.io, http://moustach.io/, http://twit.io/, etc.

From Wikipedia :

.io is the Internet country code top-level domain (ccTLD) for the British Indian Ocean Territory.

answered Dec 26 '10 at 09:45
Luke Capizano
321 points
  • -1. Quoting your rules link: 3.1 An applicant may reside in any legal jurisdiction. Nothing else indicates reservation for British Indian Ocean. – Net Tecture 13 years ago
  • The answer is correct, Cypher never said only residents of that territory can register such names, only that the name itself was assigned to that territory. – Alain Raynaud 13 years ago


IO is a popular programmer nomenclature for Input/Ouput otherwise shown as I/O. It is also the devs way of being cute with the name

answered Nov 24 '12 at 14:26
Nick Wallace
71 points


The use of the .io domain has a few benefits:

  1. The .io namespace is far less crowded, which means you have a much better chance of getting your domain name.
  2. It is shorter than .com, .org, and .info and while it is different, it is still easy to remember.
  3. As mentioned by others, I/O (input/output) is a term which almost all people with a background in computers will understand, and thus, it resonates well with them.
  4. It's new and different, which makes your startup stand out a bit and is great for marketing purposes.
  5. It just sounds cooler than .com ;-)
answered Jun 2 '13 at 01:25
Topher Fangio
121 points

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