The new gTLDs have finally arrived, promising an era of innovation for the Internet’s global addressing system. The measure of success for this tectonic shift will lie not in raw numbers, but in how it improves the Internet experience for users, says Bob Samuelson.
The process of bringing the new generic top-level domain (gTLD) programme from concept to reality has been years in the making. While the body that oversees the Internet’s addressing system, ICANN, began approving new gTLDs in 2013, it wasn’t until January 2014 that ordinary Internet users got the opportunity to register addresses in them.
At the time of writing, only a fraction of the many hundreds of TLDs slated for introduction have opened their doors to the public, but even that very small sample has triggered an outpouring of interest and activity in the global Internet community.
At the end of February, Donuts Inc—the largest single applicant for new gTLDs—had made 29 domains available to the public in what the domain name industry calls ‘general availability’. Some of the earliest available domains include .bike, .guru, .land and .clothing. In just over a month of general availability for those 29 domains, Internet users around the world have registered more than 200,000 addresses under them, and the number is growing fast.
gTLDs, domains, donuts, ICANN