The Internet has remained a mostly closed system in regards to it’s top-level domain extensions. There are current only 22 variations in use, including the most familiar to users: “.com,” “.net,” and “.gov” domain extensions. In a controversial expansion policy, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) — the Internet’s governing body of the domain name system — has offered the opportunity for domain registries, startups, large corporations, and organizations all around the world to apply for generic top-level (gTLD) domain names.
This current surge in registration for new domain extensions will see as many as 1,000 new one’s being approved. By doing this, it will effectively create a gold rush for those eager to compete in the Internet addressing space. There were nearly 2,000 applicants, with the cost to apply for an evaluation being $185,000, and an annual fee of $25,000. So you know it’s companies, and massive corporate players paying for these new domains.
Two or more applicants can’t be granted the same top-level domain name, which makes certain extensions more desirable than others. With nearly 40 percent of all submissions having more than one applicant, you know there are going to be some battles over the “.app” and “.blog” type of domain extensions.
While there are many different pros and cons, the cons look to be more stacked. Better innovation, the increase in brand visibility, and a clearer and more targeted domain for brands will help lead the charge for the ever expanding Internet, and it’s future.