The entire domain industry has been brimming with excitement since we all found out that ICANN was opening up an application process for New Generic Top Level Domains (New gTLDs). You could let your brain wander and come up with hundreds of New gTLDs to apply for. However, with the price tag for an application set at $185,000, reality kicks in. I’ve had a look around the internet for New gTLD news and selected a few potentially huge New gTLDs that I think could be significant in the next few years.
Let’s start off with .africa, which has already been applied for. The .africa domain aims to represent the continents commercial, political and cultural development and provide a continental identity online. The same campaign is also seeking to “address the lack of adequate internet policy in Africa”. This would be a big boost for African internet users, giving a further incentive for African governments to invest in Internet infrastructure and policy.
.eco is another New gTLD that is attracting a lot of attention. A website has already been set up to campaign for the creation of this TLD. The vision for the .eco domain is to brand sustainability projects and supporters to generate a real online presence for the sustainability community. It will help non-profits and sustainable businesses share their commitment to sustainability.
Another TLD rumoured to be heading online is .music. The .music project is being supported by some giants in the industry from record labels to the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America). Supporters are hoping this .music TLD will promote commerce and help in the battle against piracy. This will involve anyone applying for a domain being “accredited” as a genuine music industry contributor, similar to the current .pro domain.
The gTLD .bank is something we are also likely to see. This will only be able to be registered by banks. This makes banks addresses simple and verified. In turn, users will know when they are on a site that is a .bank domain, they are dealing directly with their bank. This TLD would be constantly monitored to ensure the safety of customers and the security of the .bank domains.
I could go on and talk about .california, .london, .secure, .mail, .MLS, .film and .hotel! All of these gTLDs are currently in the pipeline or with ICANN at some point in the application process. I think this is the next big evolution of the Internet. The New gTLDs will help categorise sites, make pages much more brandable and provide a new layer of security for sites that need it. This can only be a positive influence as the Internet moves forward.
What are your thoughts on the New gTLDs? Do you think they’re a great advance for the internet? Maybe you don’t feel they are necessary and will cause more hassle than their worth? What New gTLDs would you like to see appearing in the future? What do you think?