ICANN’s stands for Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. It is a non-profit organisation setup by United States government in 1998 to organise and hold all the web addresses available online. All top level domain name disputes are handled by ICANN in correspondence from the Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP). Recently, ICANN presented over 1900 new top level domain names in its reveal day. Before we go into details on the ICANN’s reveal day, it is important to understand what top level domain names are and how they will be used in the future.
Top Level Domain Names
By definition, a top level domain name (TLD) is the generic part of a domain name. So, for example – the ‘.com’ in www.sitepoint.com is the top level domain name. The most common top level domain names include: .com, .net, .edu and .org. Originally, .com was to be used by commercial sites, however due to the unrestricted use of these TLD’s they have lost their meaning.
What is ICANN’s Reveal Day
ICANN’s reveal day saw the presentation of over 1900 generic top level domain names. Companies like Apple and McDonalds are pushing for control over their own business names in their domain names and that is what ICANN’s reveal day was all about. Each applicant was charged a whopping application fee of $185 000, with Google applying for 100 generic top level domain names.
Most Popular Reveal Day Domain Names (Courtesy of StartToday)
What significance do these new domain names hold?
The primary aim of introducing these new domain names is to allow people to access the web in a different way and to be creative with their domain name extensions. One of the main reasons companies are so willing to snatch up these new domain names is to maintain the integrity of their brand and to possibly profit from the generic extension. The marketing value of having your own top level domain name is huge as it allows companies to be easily recognised. For small business owners, the ICANN’s reveal day would have been confusing to say the least. There is no doubt that the new top level domains announced will be more expensive, but small business owners can benefit from owning one as it would allow them to brand their company right from the beginning.
The Benefits of owning a Top Level Domain
The most obvious benefit of owning your own top level domain name is that it is exclusive to your brand, so it is recognisable and memorable for consumers. Despite the pricey application fee, the confidence exuded by having your own generic top level domain will surely attract consumers. As you can see in the above mentioned list of popular TLD’s, big companies are willing to use a .app extension on their domain name to enhance their company’s image.
Out of the 1930 applicants revealed, 66 are geographic name applicants with applications coming in from over 60 countries. There is no doubt that ICANN’s reveal day is an indication of what is to come in the future and we will certainly see several disputes over how the top level domain names are distributed between companies. ICANN announced that it would take them between nine and twelve months to sort out the applications, so it will be interesting to see the impact these new developments will have on the internet.