Telnic, the operator for the top level domain (TLD) announces today its private VIP .tel beta program. .tel lets users display their contact info on the internet on their own domain name. Internet users will be able to buy a domain name on Feb 3rd 2009 from registrars like GoDaddy or CSC. Developers will be able to build all kinds of services upon their application using Telnic’s API. In theory, it is simple and very flexible: users can decide exactly what info they want to expose publicly and what they want to keep private. According to the company, the user information is stored directly in the DNS and it is encrypted, Telnic does not have access to it, unlike the profiles information owned by Facebook for example. Accessible from any internet enabled device, the personal .tel page is easier to access from anywhere than any phone book or address book . Additional info can be stored like the location info (see the iPhone screen shot after the jump). This amazingly simple concept (much more complex to code in the back-end, I believe) will make people’s life easier: they can keep track of their friends contacts info even when they change often. The only downside: how about people with very common names like Robert Smith? Only one of them will get the robertsmith.tel… the rush to get your name first might get crazy, and so will the prices on the after-market.
Editor’s note: the profile in the screenshot is fake and the names have been blurred in the iPhone screenshot.