.mobi TLD to Make Mobile Web Browsable

This week ICANN (define) approved the TLD (define) .mobi for use on mobile devices. Web developers will soon have to worry about multiple formats, not just multiple browsers. It will make the Web a more viable service on cell phones and other mobile devices with small screens and somewhat limited ability to input text or select links.

There is potential for every Web site to take advantage of the .mobi TLD. There are no real limitations; it opens possibilities to marketers who want to translate their brand to the mobile space. Users will order goods, read news, get maps and directions, and interact with the Web just as they would on a desktop, seamlessly. The content will be delivered through HTML, and won’t rely on new handset technology.

I wrote about .mobi in March 2004, when a group of mobile service providers and handset manufacturers applied for the TLD with ICANN. I was beginning to think the application was declined, and thought about checking on the status. It will be another year before the application starts to his the mobile space. A long wait, but it will be interesting to see what publishers, and marketers, can do with a year of development for the platform.

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