The new gTLDs (generic Top Level Domains)
There has been much speculation since ICANN announced their proposal to approve over 1000 applications for new gTLDs last year. It won’t be long until we start to see the impact as a high influx of dot options are launched and made available to purchase.
In a technology driven world where more equals more, getting your brand noticed with a unique domain name could be the next big thing. Whilst some gTLDs replicate a brand name, others are more generic such as .shop and some are location orientated such as .london.
The ability to buy a more personalised identity for your business may sound like a branding dream but there are concerns this may be offset by an equal weighting of risk. The idea of brands losing their uniqueness in a sea of saturated domains is possible, as is whether adoption of the gTLDs even takes off. It remains to be seen if we are ready for the changes afoot, or if in fact, the more traditional .com and such like will remain the domains of choice.
There are some safeguards that ICANN have put in place to monitor the pre launch period of each new gTLD known as the ‘sunrise’ period and the 90 days that follow. For any brands concerned about protecting their intellectual property, The Trademark Clearinghouse (TMCH) has been set up to allow them to both register domain names matching their trademarks and be alerted should people subsequently try to register duplicate domain names. The take up level for this service is expected to be high.
So, get ready for the hype as we enter a phasic approach that will see a surge from a mere 22 gTLDs to an unquantifiable figure expected in the 1000’s. Whether the new gTLDs will be a passing fad is impossible to predict but one thing is certain- the wait is almost over so it’s an idea to get clued up on the implications for your business and build provisions into your marketing budget.
We’ll keep you posted on all the latest developments, so watch this space!
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