In the last 11 weeks, the number of new generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs) introduced into the Internet’s root has increased five-fold over the number introduced in the entire last quarter century.
Over 100 new gTLDs are now waiting to go “live” for Internet users worldwide. That translates to expanded consumer choice and industry competition. The online landscape is about to be transformed by the innovation that these new domain names will usher in.
Until the New gTLD Program, consumers could only choose from up to 22 gTLDs. On 18 January 2014, the 107th gTLD was introduced, and these newly delegated domains are nearing the point where the Registries can accept domain name registrations.
Why does it matter if we have more gTLDs? Because expanding choice is the frame that will surround the future picture of Internet growth. More Internet users will soon be able to register a domain name that aligns specifically with their vision. The addition of new gTLDs will enlarge the canvas of the Domain Name Space, enabling the expanded registration of succinct, significant domain names.
The thrill of new gTLDs is not just the innovation that we can predict, but also that which we cannot begin to imagine. Applicants share the vision behind some of these new domains in our Applicant Videos. But, this is just the beginning.
In addition to the increase in choice of available domain names, the delegation of more than 100 new gTLDs means the Internet is being reshaped as a truly global resource. The following statistics are encouraging, particularly when one considers that these are only a fraction of the potential new gTLDs (there are over 1,300 possibilities):
- 9 – Countries
New gTLD Registries with delegated gTLDs are operating in nine countries, including Australia, China and Switzerland.
- 7 – Languages
The original 22 gTLDs consist of Latin characters only, and most are abbreviated English words. Examples of newly introduced languages include Arabic, Chinese, German, and Russian.
- 2 – Communities
Registries for gTLDs .WIEN and .BERLIN self-identified as community applicants, signifying their intention to operate the gTLDs on behalf of the citizens of Vienna and Berlin, respectively.
These advancements will support the next generation of Internet users, many of whom will have more than one device with which to go online. We are creating more online space for this growth, which will allow budding companies to better define their online identities, while helping brands align more closely with the products or services they provide.
New communities will emerge based on common interests or geography. And, the expanded space allows individuals across the world to experience the Internet entirely in their native languages.
As most know, the new gTLD program was a long time in the making – almost eight years – yet we have only now arrived at the beginning of a new era.