ICANN, or the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers yesterday revealed the list of the new generic Top Level Domains (gTLDs) that could potentially be live in early 2013.
The top level domains are essentially the name extension for a website, such as the ‘.com’ or ‘.org’ that we have come to associate with it. ICANN opened up the application window on 12th January, 2012 to invite companies for the next generation of the top level domains. So what this means is that maybe in the near future instead of going to say www.apple.com/itunes/ which points to the iTunes subdomain, we could essentially access it via www.itunes.apple.
This level of customization could be a potential profit mine for the companies as it essentially let goes of a subdomain and provides a level of branding in the form of gTLDs that was not possible in the past. With ever decreasing length of the domain names this domain name capitalization could be worth the effort.
ICANN revealed that it has received 1,930 applications for the new suffixes, with a vast majority of them coming out of US. Apart from the application from different parts of the world another interesting reveal of this list was the fact that there are 116 applications for non-Latin domains. That is top level domains in the local language of the applicants region.
This doesn’t mean India is missing the action. Surprisingly there are a number of applicants from India, including Reliance Industries applying for ‘.indians’ or the State Bank of India applying for ‘.sbi’ and ‘.statebank’ Other applicants from India include media giant Star India Private Limited which has applied for ‘.star’ and Dabur India Limited for ‘.dabur’ and the Bharti Group which has applied for ‘.airtel’ and ‘.bharti’. Apart from application in the Latin script, there have been three applications for top level domain in the Devanagari script for the names transliterating into com, net, org (organization) ironically none of the applicants are from India.
For those of you feeling the need to participate in this new internet land grab, the non-refundable application fee is $185,000 after which the applicant has to prove that he has the capacity to maintain the domain and this would be followed by $25,000 of annual fees. So best of luck getting one of your own.
So what new domains can you expect in the future? For starters all of the major brand of the world have applied for tons of these names. Google itself has applied for multiple names ranging from ‘.chrome’ to ‘.android’ to surprisingly ‘.lol’ These new top level domains may open up interesting times for the internet but its repercussions are already to be seen. There are multiple applicants for the coveted ‘.app’ and the online retail giant Amazon which itself has bid for a number of names like ‘.fire’, ‘.free’, and ‘.game’ is already conflicting with Google on the names they both have applied for.
ICANN has tried to make the process to resolve conflicting domains as simple as possible. In case of conflict over multiple applicants for a name, a criteria will be set and those companies which fulfill would be a part of a bidding process to get their choice of the name. Further in case of a company and a trade association conflicting over a name, the trade association would have a higher preference for that name over the company.
ICANN will be processing the names in the batches of 500 each and would be resolving the conflicts on the way and so that these domains become live in 2013. Till then you can have a look at the entire list here and let us know as to why Google is has applied for ‘.baby’ and ‘.dad’ , a healthcare company ?
Here is the entire list:
GTLD strings June 2012
[Guest article contributed by Gurpreet Bedi.]