The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), a non-profit organization that handles Internet domain names, is gearing up to authorize new generic top-level domain names (gTLDs).
This move by ICANN will enable businesses and individuals to create memorable online addresses as the organization gets ready to bombard us with names such as .clothing, .art, .book etc.
Nearly 1,000 gTLDs will come into existence and starting February 4, 2014, anyone will be able create and start a website with the new domains. In 2013, ICANN alreasy made available four GTLDS in Arabic, Chinese and Cyrillic scripts, but this time the GLTDs will also be available in Latin characters.
Per the Boston Globe, the "first of the new domains in the Latin alphabet will debut Wednesday, and include .bike, .clothing, .singles, and .plumbing."
According to James Cole, spokesman ICANN, new domains such as .wed, .book, .bike are on their way. Moreover, these will be joined by domains for major companies, including .ford, .apple, .google.
Cole revealed that there have been 1,930 applicants for new domains and several hundreds are expected to hit the Internet from early next week.
So how does ICANN intend to go about handling such demand, considering the Internet was restricted to a few domain names thus far?
"It's a process that will take over a year or over two years possibly," said Cole said. "We approach this in a very methodical or cautious way. We don't want to do anything to upset the structure of the Internet."
While the process may create creativity in the domain space and allow individuals and businesses to personalize, it may also cause confusion. Moreover, some critics opine that with cybercrimes increasing day by day, the propagation of new domains may give way to a new area for fraudulent activities.
According to Jon Leibowtz, ex-FTC chairman, online criminals may deploy the new domains to create several phony websites that are designed to imitate legitimate businesses. However, ICANN assures that it has set up safeguards to prevent the fraudulent use of trademarks in the new domains by cybercriminals.
However, the adequacy of these measures remains circumspect. Cole though seems optimistic of the gTLDs prospects.
"We want consumers to have a larger bevy of options," said ICANN's Cole. "People are going to adapt to it, and we think they're going to respond to it pretty well."
Those interested in buying the gTLDs can head to several registrars like GoDaddy and Web.com to register their names soon.