8 Kinds of New Top Level Domains That Will Be ComingPosted: October 22, 2011
Ever since ICANN approved their new Top Level Domain (TLD) program, the web hasn’t stopped talking about it. Whether upset or ecstatic, whether predicting an internet makeover or absolute mayhem, everyone has some expectations about what will happen.
Based on extensions that are already publicly announced as planned and strong speculation on other possible extensions, certain kinds of extensions already seem to be inevitable:
The most popular kind of new TLD being discussed are .Brand extensions. The new TLD program heralds the first time a company will be able to have its own branded extension. While we could see .Coke and .Ebay, brands would do best to make sure their extension has a defined purpose vs. simply having it for show.
While countries already have their own extension, cities and states/provinces will finally have the ability to start their own. The one thing holding this back are the limits on how many applications will be approved (only hundreds annually per ICANN) so .City won’t be able to become an overnight epidemic.
Generic TLDs will see high competition for sure, and one that is already looking like a popular choice is .Industry. Already there are plans for .music and .bank and it can be seen as a way to categorize the internet once many are up. Some groups have been critical of them, believing pirates/scammers could use domains on these extensions to appear legitimate.
Similar to .Industry, .Profession could become additional means of categorizing the internet. You wouldn’t have to guess what someone based on a .lawyer or .plumber does. Some groups worry that .Profession and .Industry would force many businesses to protect their trademark, causing extra expenses they wouldn’t otherwise have had without these new TLDs.
I haven’t seen much talk of these but I have a feeling we’ll see .Blog, .Chat, .Tube or similar extensions come about. With how the web is moving towards social media, this kind of extension could see a community built around it. Generic domains in extensions like these could prove to be valuable.
Many communities have solidarity that they would like to show online as well, and what better than with a devoted extension to them? .gay is one extension that has been discussed since well before the new TLD program was passed.
There’s already been talk of .ngo, an extension that the operator of .org has plans to release specifically for NGOs. .lib is another that is proposed for libraries. Unlike most other new TLDs, these will likely have restrictions placed on them to ensure only those kinds of entities can register domains in those extensions.
Lastly, there will undoubtedly be some attempts at successful extensions purely on the basis of being a .com alternative. .web is one such extension that has been discussed for several years and may finally see its day. Additionally, the idea of appealing to businesses with .llc, .inc, .corp or others may come about.
There’s a world of possibilities we could begin to see in 2013 when the first round of new TLDs are approved. What kinds of extensions do you think will be coming?