For more than a decade, we, the netizens have been living with a very familiar TLD. A big majority of websites that we own, or frequently visit, end with the good old .com, or .net. In the recent past, we have seen many new TLD being introduced, but no matter how innovative they were, the internet surfers haven’t really embraced the relatively new TLD’s like .mobi or .me.
And now, with the introduction of branded domains, it appears that we are heading into a new era of TLDs with the other side of “dot” getting a lot more versatile. In the words of Rod Beckstrom, the CEO of ICANN “It’s a historic day for the Internet, The internet is about to change forever”. Well that’s partially true; except that we aren’t really sure if the new branded domains will be accepted by the Internet community by and large. However, when you have the big players like Google or Amazon putting their money in a technology, you have got to take it seriously.
What really is a Branded Domain?
In short, ICANN has been accepting applications for some time from brands looking to have their own personalized TLDs. The application requisites and fees makes sure that only the big wigs can go for something like that, starting from Google that went for TLDs like .google, .chrome, .android, or Amazon that applied for some good ones like .book, .music, or .free, or Microsoft going for .hotmail, or .skype amongst hundreds of applicants. Then there were a number of enterprises going for branded domains like Alibaba Group applying for .alibaba, Barclays Bank applying for .barclays, Bayerische Motoren Werke going for .BMW.
Interesting part was when more than one applicant filed for some generic TLDs like nine applicants for both .blog or .book, thirteen applicants for .app, or couple of applicants for .lol (one of them being none other than Google).
What we can expect:
It will take some time before we see a significant change, and start having branded domains surfacing all over the internet. Remember that those owning the new TLDs will be able to sell these TLDs to third parties, which means we might see a shift in how the domain names are selected. Up till now, we were used to remember a domain name and taking .com as granted, but once the branded TLDs hit the market and companies start to opt for a more personalized domains (e.g. music websites going for .music or sports websites going for .sport) we will have to let go of your infatuation with the good old .com. Similarly, online businesses will have a lot more to ponder about when choosing a domain name for their businesses.
So it’s not something I have to REALLY worry about not having yet….? Although do you think as time goes on, the price of these will come down so that ‘ordinary’ website owners like myself can afford them, or will they remain in the realms of only being available to big companies who can afford them? Good article, thanks