ICANN—the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers—is finally starting to roll out some new generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs) after announcing their intentions a few years back. With only 22 gTLDs currently, the 1,400 new domain suffixes might finally spell the end of .com’s dominance.
“Today, the first new generic Top-Level Domains from ICANN’s New gTLD Program were delegated, or introduced into the Internet’s Root Zone,” Akram Atallah, ICANN’s president of generic domains, said in a post on ICAAN’s blog. “What does this mean? Well, it means a few things. From a big picture perspective, it signals the beginning of the largest-ever expansion of the Domain Name System (DNS).”
This ICANN marketing video explains the basics of domains.
The biggest impact that the new suffixes will have is the ability to use non-Latin strings—what ICANN calls: Internationalized Domain Names (IDN). Soon we’ll be seeing Russian and Arabic domain suffixes right next to all of the English ones. The first new gTLDs include the Arabic word for web: شبكة, the Russian words for online and web site: онлайн and сайт, as well as the Chinese word for game: 游戏.
It’ll be a while before any of the new gTLDs catch on, but we’ve still got the good ol’ .com suffix to fall back on.