On February 4, 2014, ICANN, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, is set to release about 1,000 new generic top level domain names, or gTLDs. A TLD is the the little bit that follows the “.” in a domain, so .com, .net, .org, etc.
The last time this rush happened was when many country codes and some generic TLDs entered the market. Those included the .travel, .jobs, .mobi, .biz and .co domains. You’ve probably never seen many of those because everyone’s so conditioned to .com, .org, and .edu and .gov. Sometimes it’s surprising to run across a .net or a .mil and feel okay about it.
Until 2013, there were only 22 gTLDs, plus the country-based ones, called ccTLDs. Columbia, for instance, is .co and we see from this site how much that means to the Internet.
Now the Internet is about to change. As .coms become increasingly more difficult to acquire and more and more businesses come online, gTLDs are going to be come the go-to way of differentiating industries and businesses, all while allowing people to maintain a sense of branding over their domain name. New gTLDs will also make it simpler to get domain names that avoid ending in things like “acmeonline.com” or “madmenreviews.com”. Now, those sites can become acme.online and madmen.reviews. Lawyers with the same name can now compete over .law and .attorney domain names.
Naturally, big companies are entering applications to spend thousands of dollars on domains. Amazon has requested reservation of everything from .book to .song and .zappos and .zero.
Google is after .free, .lol, .nexus, .search and .talk. Even .dad and .mom.
Also included in the list of upcoming gTLDs are Latin, Arabic, and Chinese character-based domain names.
The Internet’s new domain names are largely being driven by demand from the big tech companies of today who want domains ending in .acer, .airbus, .dhl, etc.. Domain registrars like GoDaddy and Tucows are in on it too so they can have access to sell new domains to the rest of us like you and me.
We call dibs on .ninja.