Move over dot-com. Untold numbers of new Internet address endings are about to hit cyberspace.
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), which manages and oversees the complex structure of the Internet, announced today that it will soon be offering new Generic Top Level Domains (gTLDs) for use on the Web.
You probably know these gTLDs as the suffixes – such as dot-com, dot-edu or dot-org – used at the end of every Web address.
Meeting in Singapore, ICANN’s board of directors approved the plan to dramatically increase the number of Internet domain name endings.
ICANN’S plan for the new gTLDs allows for the use of almost any word in any language as well as different scripts, such as Arabic, Japanese and Cyrillic.
The change could impact how people find information on the Internet as well as how businesses plan and structure their online presence. Businesses, organizations and individuals will be able to market and publicize their own brand, products, community or cause in new and creative ways.
Instead of being limited to the same old Internet address ending used by everyone else, those applying for the new Web suffixes will be able to create and use ones which are unique to their specific needs.
Companies like Toyota, Philips or McDonalds would be able to create an Internet address that ends with .toyota, .philips or .mcdonalds.
Not only would businesses be able to promote their companies in this way, but they could also structure Web addresses to be brand specific – .toyota.camry, philips.dvd or mcdonalds.hamburger.
But those who want to take advantage of the change had better get busy because there’s a limited window to apply for these new domain-enders. ICANN will accept applications from Jan. 12, 2012 to April 12, 2012.
What do you think about ICANN’s plan? Do you like it? Hate it? Do you think this will greatly help those who use the Web or will it lead to confusion?
Let us know your thoughts.