ICANN Allows New Domain Endings
The Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) finalized plans to let companies insert their own endings in domain names, allowing them to register domains like .brand instead of .com or .org.
Canon Inc., for example, will be applying for the domain ending .canon.
Applications may also be submitted for generic terms such as .sports, .travel, or .music. It costs $185,000 per application, and they may be submitted between 12 January 2012 and 12 April 2012.
The change has been called the most dramatic change in the Internet in four decades as it will give companies far more latitude in customizing their domains and will vastly open the possibilities of what can be typed into the domains, which has until now been constrained to 22 top-level endings and country-specific endings like .UK.
Speaking in Singapore at the event of the announcement, Rod Beckstrom, President and Chief Executive Officer of ICANN said, “ICANN has opened the Internet’s addressing system to the limitless possibilities of the human imagination. No one can predict where this historic decision will take us.”
In addition, the application process is specially designed to stave off cybersquatting, when people buy domain names in anticipation of selling them to brands in the future.
The approval should lead to crafty innovations in Internet marketing and branding, with companies putting forth creative domain names like iwant.beer and whatsfor.dinner.