In its Domain Name Industry Brief, Verisign reported that as of the end of 2012, there were 252 million Internet domain names registered worldwide. In the fourth quarter alone, 6.1 million new domains were added.
V3's Gareth Morgan reported, "The number of registered domain names topped 250 million for the first time at the end of 2012, according to registry group Verisign, with applications for top-level domains up 12 percent year-on-year. According to Verisign's Domain Industry Brief, more than six million new domains were added to the internet in the last three months of 2012."
The Next Web's Robin Wauters noted, "The .com and .net TLDs reached a combined total of approximately 121.1 million domain names in the fourth quarter of 2012, VeriSign says in its reports, representing a 6.4 percent increase year over year. As of December 31, 2012, the base of registered names in .com equaled 106.2 million names, while .net equaled 14.9 million names."
PCMag's Stephanie Mlot cautioned, "Don't be too impressed by those numbers, though. According to Verisign, 21.5 percent of all .com and .net domains lead to one-page sites, while 15 percent are registered but don't lead to a working webpage."
TechCrunch's Frederic Lardinois added, "Here is the full running order of the largest TLDs: 'The largest TLDs in order by zone size were .com, .de (Germany), .net, .tk (Tokelau), .uk (United Kingdom), .org, .cn (China), .info, .nl (Netherlands) and .ru (Russian Federation).' The one domain that probably stands out here is .tk, the top-level domain of Tokelau. These .tk domain names, which are available for free through Freedom Registry, have a bit of a reputation for hosting phishing sites, but chances are that the lure of a free domain name is driving most of these registrations."