Crowded Internet Swells to 252 Million Domain Names

More than 6 million domain names were added to the Internet just in the fourth quarter of 2012, bringing the total number of registered domain names to more than 252 million worldwide across all top-level domains (TLDs), according to VeriSign. The latest quarterly additions equates to a 2.5 percent sequential growth rate, marking the eighth straight quarter with greater than 2 percent growth. On a yearly basis, registered domain names have grown by 26.6 million, or 11.8 percent.

If the total number of domain names were the population of a country, it'd be the fourth largest behind China, India, and the United States, and would account for over 3.5 percent of every person on the planet. Most of the domains belong to the .com family, followed by .net.

Internet Open
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"The .com and .net TLDs experienced aggregate growth in the fourth quarter of 2012, reaching a combined total of approximately 121.1 million domain names in the adjusted zone for .com and .net," VeriSign says. "This represents a 6.4 percent increase year over year. As of Dec. 31, 2012, the base of registered names in .com equaled 106.2 million names, while .net equaled 14.9 million names."

With so many domains in the wild, VeriSign says we've entered the era of "Big Data," which presents both challenges and opportunities for organizations. By VeriSign's count, the Big Data market is worth $6.3 billion, and by 2018, that figure will jump to $48.3 billion.

In addition, more devices than ever are Internet capable. According to recent data by the NPD Group, the U.S. alone is home to more than half a billion Internet connected devices.