After numerous delays and a last minute call for new applicants, ICANN has finally closed registration for new generic Top-Level Domains. As expected, ICANN has now published the list of applicants and the domains they applied for. There are some interesting applications in here, so let's take a look.
Before we get into this, it's important to understand what the gTLD is all about. The new system from ICANN allows businesses, or regular people if they have the cash, to apply for a new generic Top-Level Domain. This means that people will soon be able to access a site not only with .com or .net, but with a whole host of new domains like .microsoft or .apple, both of which were applied for by their respective companies.
Aside from Microsoft and Apple, Google obviously applied for .google, but also .goog. Other interesting company choices include .acer, .abc, .aol and .fire. The domain .fire is interesting because it was registered by Amazon presumably for its Kindle Fire device.
Speaking of Amazon, the company filed for 76 different gTLDs with the most obvious being .amazon. The company also filed for gTLDs covering numerous areas like .buy, .music, .mail and .author.
Google, filing its gTLDs under Charleston Road Registry, applied for over 101 domain names including .and, .android, .are, .baby, .blog, .book, .music, .fun, .game and .lol.
Microsoft applied for very little compared to the others with only a little over 10 gTLDs. These include .bing, .docs, .hotmail and .office.
As for Apple, they only applied for the one domain - .apple. It's odd as I figured they would want to snag domains for .iphone or .ipad, maybe even .itunes. Nobody else grabbed those domains so at least Apple doesn't have to worry about some Chinese company claiming to own .ipad.
Interestingly enough, .app was the most applied for gTLD. Thirteen different companies applied for the domain including Amazon, Google, multiple entities of Dot App, and other smaller companies.
One of the more interesting details of the new gTLD system is that ICANN is now allowing non-Roman alphabet domain names. This has led to many companies applying for domains in Japanese, Chinese, Arabic and Russian. While the majority of applications were for Roman alphabet domains, there were quite a number of foreign language applications with most being in Chinese.
Since I can only read Japanese (and not Chinese), let's take a look at what companies like Amazon or Google are up to. Google applied for two Japanese domain names - みんな and グーグル. The first is "minna" in hiragana which means "everyone." The second is just romaji for Google. Amazon applied for way more domains in Japanese with all of them being in Romaji. Some of the standouts include アマゾン which is Romaji for Amazon and ファッション, or fashion. Fashion is interesting as Amazon did not apply for the English equivalent.
You can find the full list of applications at the ICANN Web site. Check it out to catch a glimpse of what may be the future of the Internet. I for one welcome the arrival of the .pizza domain.