If you are looking for a good domain name, your choices are about to get more interesting. Starting tomorrow, you’ll be able to register a .bike, .clothing, .guru, .holdings, .plumbing, .singles and .ventures domain name through numerous registrars worldwide.
Last year, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) already made four new gTLDs in Arabic, Chinese and Cyrillic scripts available, but this is the first time new gTLDs will become available in Latin characters.
The domains that are rolling out this week were delegated to Donuts Inc., the largest of the registries for the new domain names. In total, Donuts applied for 304 gTLDs and is now under contract for just over 100 of the new gTLDs. Next week, for example, users will be able to register .camera, .equipment, .estate, .gallery, .graphics, .lighting and .photography. Going forward, the company plans to roll out new names on a weekly basis.
As Donuts’ VP for communications and industry relations Mason Cole told me, the new names will be available “as soon as someone registers the name and sets the nameservers to point to the site. That could happen as early as tomorrow.” Donuts, for example, was permitted to register nic.bike for itself and it’s already pointing to the company’s homepage today.
Users who are interested in buying these names will be able to head to a number of registrars, including the likes of GoDaddy, Web.com and 1&1 Internets, to register their names tomorrow.
Donuts applied for over 300 domain names, and ICANN has already signed 264 registry agreements for names like .autos, .frogans, .glass, .maison, .pics, .toy and others, with many more to follow.
Over the last couple of weeks, trademark holders were able to register their domains ahead of the general public.
There is something to be said for having more choices when it comes to domain names, but it remains to be seen if users will even care about these. The standard .com domain names (or local TLDs like .de, .uk, etc.) have become so closely linked with how we use the Internet that it’ll take a long time for those habits to change.
If the earlier rollout of .info, .aero, .jobs and similar new domains is any indication, it’ll take a very long time for anybody to warm up to many of these new names. On the other hand, though, we’ve seen a fair share of companies that now use .io, .ly, .co and .fm, so these new names may just have a shot.
For the most part, though, I expect that many people will register these domain names and then point them to their existing .com addresses.