Those are among the findings of a study into trends in internet use carried out by SIDN, the company behind .nl, in association with market research agency GfK. The study involved monitoring the internet use of ten thousand users with various types of device over a period of eight months. The results of the study were presented today at the ECP Annual Congress.
Apps aren’t replacing websites
Another of the study’s conclusions is that apps are not taking over the role of domain names or websites. Apps are popular mainly on smartphones. On larger-screen devices, including tablets, people make less use of apps and more use of traditional browsers. The number of apps that people use is fairly small and only a modest proportion of Dutch businesses regard them as an important part of their on-line strategy. Notably, the popularity of bookmarks has declined in recent years. Possibly, on mobile devices, their function has to some extent been assumed by apps.
.nl popular with Dutch internet users
Dutch internet users visit .nl sites more often than sites under any other domain. The majority of unique URLs visited have a .nl extension. Users also spend most time on websites with .nl domain names. The research also shows that .nl domain names account for an even higher proportion of internet activity on mobile devices than on PCs or laptops. Tablet and phablet users visit a particularly large number of .nl domains, because, in contrast to smartphone users, they go to webshops relatively often. The webshops visited by Dutch users are more likely to have .nl extensions than the other sites they look at.
Young people would choose .nl domain names for their own business
The monitoring data and questionnaire responses indicate that consumers will continue using domain names in the future. It is particularly striking that especially .nl domain names are increasingly associated with serious internet uses. Young people visit sites with extensions other than .nl quite often for social media and gaming, but when asked what extension they would prefer if registering a domain name for their own business or professional use, they usually opt for .nl. Personal websites and e-mail addresses are declining in popularity as reasons for having your own domain name.
Third study of trends in internet use
SIDN invests a great deal in fundamental research into internet use in the Netherlands. In 2012, the company became the first in the world to investigate trends in internet use, focusing on the relationship between how people use the net and the demand for domain names. At the end of 2013, SIDN published an update to the previous year’s study report, reflecting the views of a panel of experts who were asked to comment on the trends highlighted by the survey. For the study reported today, SIDN and GfK observed the habits of a study group of ten thousand people with wired internet connections, over a period of eight months. Of the ten thousand, 1,800 also had smartphones or tablets. As well as gathering passive internet usage data, GfK asked a group of business decision-makers and consumers to complete a questionnaire regarding their attitudes to internet use in general and to domain names in particular. Finally, the questionnaire findings and the analysed observational data were presented to an expert panel for comment.
- SIDN Trends in internet use 2014 PDF document, (2,084 kb)