Have you come across the new domain extensions like .guru, .design, .club, .photography, .band or .xyz? If your answer is no, then you need to upgrade your knowledge in relation to this subject. In 2004, the regulator of internet domain names ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers), approved the introduction of about 400 new domain extensions and by 3rd of May, 2015, the number of approved new extensions had hit 605. ICANN thought that limiting gTLDs (generic top-level domains) to .com, .net, .biz, .org and few others was limiting the growth of the internet, hence, there was a need to open it up.
What is the implication?
The implication of the introduction of the new gTLDs would be similar to what happened in the television industry when the cable TV came on board. There were more choices for viewers and content specialization was encouraged. So, you would know where to go to for sports, movies, news, kids entertainment, music and so on. In some years to come, when you carry out a search on your choice search engine, by merely seeing the domain extensions, you would know the industry or specialization that a website represents. For example, if you search for a company or person that specializes in photography and the result shows sites with .com as well as .photography, you would probably favor the .photography website because you would believe it is more relevant to your search.
Who benefits from new domain extensions?
Everybody! The regulator, registries, registrars and the general public. In fact, the general public benefit the most because they now have more options to choose from than before. In addition, the cost of domains, especially .com, at the secondary market will probably go down because the demand for .com extension is likely to drop. Also, small and medium-sized companies can brand their businesses using these new gTLDs and they would stand out among competitors. It is interesting to note that some big companies were successful in getting new extensions for their brands, for example, .Google, .Barclays, .IBM, .Nissan, .Oracle, .Toshiba, .Xerox and so on.
What are the downsides?
A lot of companies with many brands in their portfolios complained that this development would lead to more spending for them. They contended that since many of them would need to register their brands in the new gTLDs in order to prevent cybersquatting, their operational costs would definitely go up. However, there are always two sides to a coin and the general belief on the issue of new domain extensions is that their advantages far outweigh their disadvantages. So, check with your registrar for the new gTLDs (if you have one, I recommend Godaddy) and choose the one that is related to your industry and you will stand out among your competitors.
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