Happy birthday, .nl!
Monday was the 25th anniversary of the Dutch Internet, because on 25 April 1986, the .nl domain was created. The Netherlands was the second country after the United States to receive an active country domain.
The country still is one of the domain leaders, because it's the third largest top-level domain in the world after .de (Germany) and .uk (United Kingdom). There are now 4.4 million active .nl domains, a number that continues to grow at a rate of 2,700 each day.
Two striking trends result from this. Firstly, the mean length of domain names continues to grow with 1 character a year. Since most nouns are already registered, frequently verbs are added. Now a domain name has an average of 13 characters.
Secondly, all possible two character combinations are now taken. Such a short name is interesting for those who own their own url shortener and want to use it independently from external services. Fortunately, there are enough combinations with three characters: of the 48,000 possible names, there are only 25,000 registered.
To celebrate this anniversary, a special website was created: de25jaarvan.nl, where everybody can share how the Internet has changed their lives.