Move over .com – it might have to compete with suffixes such as .sex, .app and .fail and after the body in charge of website domain names unveiled some 2,000 applications for new ones on Wednesday.
The US-based Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) revealed details of 1,930 requests for new web address endings, ranging from the general (.shop) to the highly specialised (.motorcycles).
Many of the requests are from large companies such as Apple, Mitsubishi and IBM – with Internet giant Google alone applying for over 100, including .google, .YouTube, and .lol – Internet slang for “laugh out loud”.
California-based ICANN says the huge expansion of the Internet, with around two billion users around the world, half of them in Asia, means new names are essential.
There are currently just 22 generic Top-Level Domains, or gTLDs, in use, including .com.
Beckstrom said ICANN hoped the first of the new suffixes to be live by the first quarter of 2013, but warned that evaluating all of the applications could take around 20 months.
A total of 911 organizations from North America paid the $185,000 (150,000 euro) fee to lodge an application, along with 675 from Europe and 303 from the Asia-Pacific region.
Just 17 applications for new suffixes were received from African applicants, while 24 came from Latin America and the Caribbean.
ICANN said 66 proposals were linked to geographical locations – such as .nyc, .miami and .paris – while others relate to industries, such as .insurance.
The most sought-after suffix is .app, with 13 applicants including Google and Amazon.
On top of the registration fees, maintaining a suffix will cost $25,000 annually. ICANN has raised $352 million in application fees – which Beckstrom defended, saying they only just allowed the company to break even.
Which ones do you like? We like .lol and .sex! lol