A Snapshot of The gTLD Expansion
On January 12, 2012 ICANN (The Internet Corporation for Assigned names and Numbers) started accepting applications for generic top-level domains (gTLDs) and closed its application period on May 30, 2012. Presently, there are 22 gTLDs including .com, .org, and .net. Out of the several applications, some of the biggest tech firms have applied for domain names such as .Apple, .Google, .Amazon, and .Samsung. According to an article on pcmag.com, a number of tech companies will be competing for the rights to gTLDs such as .cloud, .docs, and .blog. Cloud computing has grown in popularity over the years, especially with the Apple iCloud, Google Drive and Microsoft SkyDrive, making media easily accessible over multiple devices.
To this day, ICANN has received a total of 1,930 proposals during the application period for the new gTLDs, which include several common name domain names such as, .app, .book, .mail, .school, and surprisingly enough Hasbro has applied for .transformers. ICANN CEO, Rod Beckstrom mentioned in a webcast announcement that "We're standing at the cusp of a new era in online innovation," since expansion of domain names has never been this extensive until now.
Securing business domains
With the vast extension of domain names this year, protecting your company name has never been more important. Webnames President Cybele Negris noted in her article on biv.com on securing business domain names, that registering your company names to other key extensions such as .net, .info, and .biz is crucial to protecting your brand, "and using them to drive traffic to your primary website". In addition, protecting company names from competition or cybersquatters looking to profit from you can be a potential liability. With the large expansion of domain names, companies will need to take precautions and protect their names.
Some Interesting Facts
Of the 1,930 applications received:
- 66 are geographic name applications.
- 116 applications are for Internationalized Domain Names, or IDNs, for strings in scripts such as Arabic, Chinese, and Cyrillic.
Applications were received from 60 countries and territories, broken down by ICANN's geographic regions;
- 911 from North America.
- 675 from Europe.
- 303 are from Asia-Pacific.
- 24 from Latin America and the Caribbean.
- 17 from Africa.
To see the full Reveal Day list for the new gTLD Applied-For Strings, click here.