DomainSpotting: Rise of the Branded Short Link

In each edition of DomainSpotting, we highlight some of the use cases we’ve come across in the new gTLD namespace. This week, we have an online retailer with a heart, major brands on social media, a leaderboard for the security of online news, a tool to estimate web design costs, and two domains that are still available to register.


Vineworks offers fair trade wages and access to new markets for artisans in the developing world
Giving the developing world fair trade wages and access to new markets

Vineworks gives artisans in the developing world access to sell their goods in the U.S. and ensures workers receive fair trade wages in the process. The site sells clothing, accessories, decorations, food, and more, while returning 50% of their profits to the producer’s country of origin. To go with their overall philanthropic mindset, Vineworks chose a .GIVES domain to highlight their mission, causes, and goals.

ChickfilA.SOCIAL, MSFT.SOCIAL, and Lindt.SOCIAL (branded short links)

The dot Social extension is quickly catching on as a branded short link for some major brands' social presence
Branded short links are catching on quickly with some major brands

We’ve been seeing more and more examples of branded short links as a go-to tool for sharing on social media. The .SOCIAL domain extension is the perfect fit for this use, and some big brands apparently agree. Chick-fil-A, Microsoft, and Lindt Chocolate all use .SOCIAL to connect with their customers on Twitter and Facebook. In a crowded social media landscape, these companies want to gain every advantage they can, and branded short links have been shown to increase audience engagement versus generic shorteners.


Secure the dot News rates the security of media outlets' online properties
Security for online news outlets is more important than ever

The Freedom of the Press Foundation built SecureThe.NEWS to highlight security issues in major news outlets’ websites. They encourage the use of HTTPS (and HSTS) standards not only to protect the news websites themselves, but also to maintain the privacy of its readers and users. Secure The News aims to prevent censorship, protect sources, and safeguard the public’s trust in their sources of news, all goals that are certainly in the spirit of .NEWS domains.


Web design dot ninja helps you estimate how much professional web design services will cost for your particular project
Don’t be surprised by how much your website design services will cost

Many domain name registrars today offer do-it-yourself webpage design tools. While that level of service is perfect for some, others—especially businesses—may need professional web development help. The cost of such design work often catches people off guard, which is where WebDesignCost.NINJA comes in. Designed by PixelCutLabs, a Dallas-area design and branding firm, WebDesignCost.NINJA offers a quick six-step questionnaire to give you a rough estimate for the cost of your website.

HalftimeShow.ROCKS and CatchLikeA.NINJA

Squarespace used our dot Rocks and dot Ninja extensions during this year's Super Bowl
If you followed Squarespace’s Twitter account this past Sunday, you may have noticed a couple of our domains

Finally this week, we have two honorary “use cases,” HalftimeShow.ROCKS and CatchLikeA.NINJA, both of which are still available for registration. We’re including them here because Squarespace made a big splash with their hilarious Super Bowl ad about grabbing your domain name as soon as possible. During the game, Squarespace echoed their message on Twitter, with these .ROCKS and .NINJA domains as two examples. It’s a big vote of confidence in new gTLDs (and our extensions specifically) to be featured so prominently.

Have you seen other examples of new gTLDs in the wild? Send them to us at or post them yourself with the #DomainSpotting. See more examples of new domains at Showcase.NINJA.

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