Individual Social Media Users Register More Domains, But For Businesses, Less: SIDN Report
Posted in: Domain Names at 28/06/2012 14:20
Individuals that use social media register more domain names than those that don't, while businesses that use social media register less domain names, a report by the .NL registry SIDN has found.
According to the report, "Trends in internet use", the way individual and business users navigate the internet is changing. The developments that are taking place are affecting or will affect everyone in the ICT sector - including internet professionals. The SIDN report identified three trends as the main drivers of change in the surfing habits of consumers and organisations, these being:
- The explosive growth of mobile internet access through smartphones and tablets has means keying long or complicated domain names isn't convenient that are therefore set up to make the use of domain names unnecessary.
- Smartphone applications are increasingly taking over the functions of websites.
- Social media dominate time spent on line as links from social media increasingly influence the way users access websites.
The trends indicate a transition that the report describes as the disappearance of the website-centred internet.
Registrars in the Netherlands were asked how the use of mobile devices would influence domain names. Around two-thirds of the registrars regarded the use of search engines as having a positive influence on the total number of domain names in the Netherlands. Only four per cent expected search engine use to reduce the demand for names.
Registrars said they do not expect the use of social media and apps to have a major impact on the demand for domain names. URL shorteners are also seen as less influential than search engines.
Asked what influence they expect the use of apps to have on the overall number of domain names in use, nearly two out of three organisations spoken to in preparing the report said that more app use would lead to more domain names. Only seven per cent report expected a decline. At the sector level too, a relatively large number of commercial organisations expect that the number of domain names will grow as a result of increasing app use. Only in the care sector and the construction sector was a decline anticipated.
The report also found an apparent link between an organisation's size and the expected impact of app use on the overall number of domain names. Larger organisations are more likely than other organisations to predict a fall in the overall number of domain names in use. Small(er) organisations are more likely to predict that the overall number of domain names will rise.
When asked what influence they expect the use of apps to have on the number of domain names held by the organisation, the responses were more varied. Nearly three quarters of organisations expected the number of domain names to be unchanged by increased app use. Only a quarter foresaw an increase. Almost no organisations expected that the rise of apps would lead to them having fewer domain names.
Registrars expected the use of apps will lead to more business websites (39%) and special marketing/campaign sites (33%) while a quarter (24%) expected fewer blogs.
The report also found that around 40 per cent of all organisations expect social media use to generate an increase in the total number of domain names, while 15 per cent expected a decline.
There also appears to be a relationship between the importance that an organisation attaches to social media and the number of domain names that it has at present. On average, organisations that currently regard social media as important or very important have significantly fewer domain names than those that regard social media as less important.
However with individuals it was a different story. They are considered the best prospects for .NL domain names are heavy mobile and social media users. It seems that the use of mobile devices and social media stimulates interest in the internet generally and thus indirectly boosts the demand for domain names.
On an individual's use of domain names, the report found the majority of households that have a domain name make active use of it for a website (57%) or at least to create personalised email addresses (47%). However, 12 per cent of households that have a domain don't actively use it.
There is also a strong connection between domain name use and websites, with a large majority (62%) of consumers thinking it is important or very important that a domain name relates to the content of the associated website. Only 13 per cent think that it doesn't matter and a quarter have no opinion. A similar spread of views is found amongst business users.
Businesses also often have defined policies regarding domain name use, with the most common practice (the policy in 48% of respondent organisations) being to have all web activities under a single domain name. Nevertheless, more than a quarter indicate that exceptions are sometimes made, while 23 per cent report using a separate domain name for each campaign or activity. Only two per cent have no restrictions on the registration and use of domain names.
Business use of domain names has more than doubled over the last 36 months in the Netherlands. Three years ago, the average organisation had thirteen domain names, compared with 27 now. Over the next three years, further growth is expected, but it is likely to be more modest, with the average number of domain names per organisation rising to perhaps 32.