The .icu new gTLD launched into general availability in May 2018 and 13 months later it has rocketed to one million domains under management and today registrations stand at 1.177 million. In English .icu is short for “I see you”.
At the time it was the seventh new gTLD to have reached the milestone, but in mid-July .vip also achieved the milestone, although it took just over 2 more years to achieve the one million registrations and unlike .icu, experienced a few blips along the way. Today’s .vip registrations stand at 1.047 million.
It’s not always onwards and upwards though as one new gTLD to achieve the milestone was .loan, which peaked at 2.5 million registrations but has now plummeted to 910,500.
Currently the largest new gTLD is .top with 3.474 million domain names followed by .xyz (2.399 million), .club (1.611m), .site (1.568m) and .online (1.290m) then .icu and .vip followed by .loan.
What has helped .icu is that it’s one of the cheapest of any top-level domains, but it still managed to keep registrations on a continual upward rise even after the one year mark when many see a dip as many do not renew their domain names.
Interestingly, while Chinese registrants appear to make up a large part of .vip’s registrants (.vip domain names are legally allowed to be registered and hosted in China), .icu has more of a global reach. Also, .icu features on the Spamhaus list of most abused TLDs, being the 16th most abused. Of new gTLDs, .icu comes third on the list with 5 ccTLDs listed and the rest of the top 20 being legacy gTLDs such as .com, which is listed as the most abused of all TLDs.