Today, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) closed its window for new generic top-level domain name applications. ICANN will publish a list of all the applied-for strings in two weeks, but Google today already announced some of the names it applied for. Among these are, as expected, .google and .youtube. According to Google’s chief Internet evangelist and “father of the Internet” Vint Cerf, however, the company also applied for domains it thinks ” have interesting and creative potential,” including .lol.
Generic top-level domains (gTLDs) like these will soon become a reality on the Internet and will work side-by-side with today’s 28 TLDs like .com, .org, .net and more obscure ones like .jobs and .aero. This new program will likely create somewhere between 300 and 1,000 new gTLDs per year. Applicants have to pay a $185,000 evaluation fee, as well as additional fees once their applications have been accepted.
It’s worth noting that there had been quite a lot of opposition against these new domains. A number of stakeholders, including large corporations and non-profit organizations, have argued that this process would force them to spend more money than necessary on securing their trademarks, for example.
Here are some of the domains Google applied for (and the company’s reasoning behind applying for them):
- Our trademarks, like .google
- Domains related to our core business, like .docs
- Domains that will improve user experience, such as .youtube, which can increase the ease with which YouTube channels and genres can be identified
- Domains we think have interesting and creative potential, such as .lol
Chances are, this is just a small glimpse into all of the gTLDs Google applied for. As Cerf notes, Google is “just beginning to explore this potential source of innovation on the web, and we are curious to see how these proposed new TLDs will fare in the existing TLD environment. By opening up more choices for Internet domain names, we hope people will find options for more diverse—and perhaps shorter—signposts in cyberspace.”
We asked Google for a full list of all the gTLDs the company applied for and will update this post with this information once/if we get it.
Besides Google, a number of other companies today announced the gTLDs they applies for as well. Web.com, for example, said that it applied for .web. CloudNames applied for .cloud and .global and Radix applied for 31 gTLDs, including .law, .music, .movie, .baby and .app. Just like Web.com, Radix also applied for .web, by the way. So far, we haven’t heard from Facebook, Microsoft and other major Internet companies about the gTLDs they applied for and we may just have to wait until June 13 before we find out.