A number of the world’s smallest countries have licensed their TLDs for worldwide commercial use. For example, Tuvalu and the Federated States of Micronesia, small island-states in the Pacific, have partnered with VeriSign and FSM Telecommunications respectively, to sell domain names using the tv and fm TLDs to television and radio stations.
Vanity ccTLDs are TLDs which are used for various purposes outside their home countries, because of their name. For example:
ac (Ascension Island) is sometimes used to stand for “Access Connection” or “Access Card”. It is often used by Universities to stand for “Academic”.
ad (Andorra) has recently been increasingly used by advertising agencies or classified advertising.
ag (Antigua and Barbuda) is sometimes used for agricultural sites. In Germany and German-speaking countries, AG (short for Aktiengesellschaft) is appended to the name of a stock-based company, similar to Inc. in USA.
am (Armenia) is often used for AM radio stations, or for domain hacks.
as (American Samoa) In Estonia, Denmark and Norway, AS is appended to the name of a stock-based company, similar to Inc. in USA. In Czech Republic, the joint stock corporation a.s. abbreviation stands for Akciová spolecnost.
at (Austria) is used for English words ending in at.
be (Belgium) is sometimes used for the literal term “be” and the Swiss Canton of Bern. It is also used in some download sites as the end of the word “tube” such as downloadyoutu.be, a site for the downloading of youtube videos.
by (Belarus) is sometimes used in Germany, as “BY” is the official abbreviation of the state Bayern.
ca (Canada) is occasionally used to create domain hacks like histori.ca, the web domain of The Historica Dominion Institute. This type of use is limited by the .ca domain’s Canadian residence requirements.
cc (Cocos (Keeling) Islands) is used for a wide variety of sites such as community colleges, especially before such institutions were allowed to use .edu.
cd (Democratic Republic of Congo) is used for CD merchants and file sharing sites.
ch (Switzerland) is used for a number of church websites.
ck (Cook Islands) was notably abused in Chris Morris’s Nathan Barley by preceding it with “.co” in order to spell out the word “cock” (.co.ck as in trashbat.co.ck).
co (Colombia) is marketed as commercial, corporation, or company.
dj (Djibouti) is used for CD merchants and disc jockeys.
es (Spain) is used for English words ending in es (beach.es).
fm (the Federated States of Micronesia) is often used for FM radio stations (and even non-FM stations, such as internet radio stations).
gg (Guernsey) is often used by the gaming and gambling industry, particularly in relation to horse racing and online poker.
im (the Isle of Man) is often used by instant messaging programs and services.
in (India) is widely used in the internet industry.
io (the British Indian Ocean Territory). Notable examples are online storage site Drop.io and task list site Done.io.
is (Iceland) is used as the English verb, “to be” in conjunction with a directory name suffix to complete a linguistically correct sentence (for example, “.is/” or “.is/).
ir (Iran) is used in domain hacks (e.g. .has.ir).
it (Italy) is the third-person neuter pronoun in English and is used for domains such as win.at.it.
je (Jersey) is often used as a diminutive in Dutch (e.g. “huis.je”), as “your” (“zoek.je” = “search your”), or as “I” in French (e.g. “moi.je”).
la (Laos) is marketed as suggesting Los Angeles or Latin America.
li (Liechtenstein) is marketed as meaning Long Island.
lv (Latvia) is also used to abbreviate Las Vegas or less frequently, love.
ly (Libya) is also used for words ending with suffix “ly”.
md (Moldova) is marketed to the medical industry (as in “medical domain” or “medical doctor”).
me (Montenegro) was opened in 2008, and has quickly become one of the most used ccTLDs for vanity. It is used worldwide by individuals, and companies offering services, because of the meaning in English and more languages.
mn (Mongolia) is used to abbreviate Minnesota.
ms (Montserrat) is also used by Microsoft for such projects as popfly.ms.
mu (Mauritius) is used within the music industry.
ni (Nicaragua) is occasionally adopted by companies from Northern Ireland, particularly to distinguish from the more usual .uk within all parts of the United Kingdom.
nu (Niue) is marketed as resembling “new” in English and “now” in Scandinavian/Dutch. Also means “nude” in French and Portuguese.
pr (Puerto Rico) can be used in the meaning of “Public Relations”.
rs (Serbia) is marketed in English words ending with the letters “rs” such as http://www.blogge.rs.
sc (Seychelles) is often used as .Source .
sh (Saint Helena) is also sometimes used for entities connected to the German Bundesland of Schleswig-Holstein or the Swiss Canton of Schaffhausen, or to Shanghai or Shenzen in China.
si (Slovenia) is also used by Hispanic sites as “yes” (“sí”). Mexican mayor candidate Jorge Arana, for example, had his web site registered as http://www.jorgearana.si (i.e. “Jorge Arana, sí”, meaning “Jorge Arana, yes”).
sr (Suriname) is marketed in the USA as being for “seniors”.
st (São Tomé and Príncipe) is being marketed worldwide as an abbreviation for various things including “street”.
tm (Turkmenistan) can be used as “trade mark”.
to (Tonga) is often used as the English word “to”, like “go.to”; also is marketed as the TLD for Toronto and for the Italian city and province of Turin (Torino in Italian).
tv (Tuvalu) is used for the television/entertainment industry purposes. It is also used for local businesses in the province of Treviso (Italy).
vc (Saint Vincent and the Grenadines) is sometimes used to abbreviate “Vacation Club” or “Virtual Casino”.
vg (British Virgin Islands) is sometimes used to abbreviate Video games.
vu (Vanuatu) means “seen” in French as well as an abbreviation for the English language word “view”.
ws (Samoa, earlier Western Samoa) is marketed as .Website.