Dot coms are a thing of the past, at least according to ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers). The international authority over top-level domain names (TLDs) has approved a resolution to expand the list of generic TLDs which will allow companies and organizations to create domains for their brands.
What exactly does this mean? Well, for one, domain addresses will no longer be required to end in .com, .org or .net. For instance, a company could use its actual brand name as the end of the URL, such as .coke or .walmart. Companies could also use more generic names that categorize their domain by industry such as .car or .restaurant. Really, the possibilities are endless. But with countless options, and not to mention thousands of “dot somethings” to remember, how are consumers going to react to this significant change? If we had our guess, we’d say they’ll be lost… lost in cyberspace.
Despite the skepticism, large corporations are likely to benefit from the proposed TLD plan. If AT&T can acquire the .att or even the .phone TLD ending, just think of the drastic increase in online traffic that the AT&T site will see. The change could create an immense amount of brand awareness if they’re one of the first to use a customizable TLD. However, having the option to end your domain with your brand name won’t come cheap. To avoid squatters, the application fee for the new domain ending has been priced at $185,000 with an annual fee of $25,000!
Needless to say, the kinks of this proposed domain plan have yet to be ironed out. It is, however, a remarkable advancement as .coms have been the standard since the Internet’s creation in the 1990s. So will Madison+Main make the switch in the coming years? Only time, and technological progression, will tell.