What does Libya have in common with Twitter? Ask Bit.ly


Bit.ly, the URL shortener now used by Twitter, is not the first company to craft its name out of a county code top-level domain (ccTLD).

But Bit.ly does appear to be the first company to do so with the Libyan ccTLD.

As some have speculated, Bit.ly could put itself into a precarious position should it begin hosting URLs for the adult industry, or any other industry that violates Libyan laws. It’s always important to keep in mind that a company can’t “own” a domain the way it owns real estate.

But this is all just speculation. The registrar Libyan Spider clearly is hoping to capitalize on all the “ly” permutations of a word or brand name. And the fact of the matter is that more and more countries are viewing their country codes as profit centers.

Which leads me to a brief inventory of the sites that I am aware of that use ccTLDs as part of their names:

I’m rather surprised at the range of countries represented here. Montenegro, by the way, has already sold more than 250,000 domains so far. Not bad for a country that’s less than a few years old.

Any companies that I missed?

UPDATE: Thanks to the commenter below I’ve added Tri.im — and I also came across Pi.pe. Any more I should include?

UPDATE 2: Just added Su.pr — yet another URL shortener.

UPDATE 3: Added good.is

UPDATE 4: Added Look.fo.  Faroe Islands. Go figure.

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8 thoughts on “What does Libya have in common with Twitter? Ask Bit.ly”

  1. John,
    How about one of Bit.ly’s main competitors, tr.im?

    good call on the potential dangers of such a naming strategy. Aside from local laws, I would imagine political instability could be a concern as well. I certainly wouldn’t be rushing out to register a .so domain name 🙂

  2. I got my domain name late, so I could not get the .com version (but I did get all 3 of the domains for my kids). I tried to get McLaughl.in but it was taken too.
    I think that Bit.ly is a good example of using country codes to make an interesting name, but wonder if the US trade embargo people will one day decide to give Bit.ly trouble if the sanctions go back in place.

  3. How about http://ow.ly/ , the URL shortening service which is part of Hoot Suite?

    And Evan Prodromou has good fun with the ccTLD for Canada, as in his microblogging platform, http://laconi.ca/ , and the hosted service based on Laconica, http://identi.ca/ , and https://certifi.ca/ , a secure OpenID provider. Evan also mentions http://kei.ki/ (.ki as in Kiribati), but that service appears to be dormant now.

    I’m guessing this is a longer list than it looked at first!

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