When .xxx isn’t enough: Google, Apple, and Amazon push for the next set of top-level domains

Attention beloved top-level domains .com, .net. and .xxx: get ready for a lot of company.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) today unveiled the massive list of applications made for the next set of top-level domains (TLDs).

When approved, the additions will greatly expand the number of TLDs from the twenty one offered today, which will in turn create many more possible URLs.

Many of these new TLD will be generic, but a lot will be pinned to specific brands, which means that one day you could find yourself navigating to pages like “Games.Xbox” and “TV.Netflix.”

The biggest push seems to be coming from Google, which applied for over a hundred TLDs. These include unsurprising ones like .book, .cloud., and .drive, as well as some odd choices like .baby, .dad, and .dog.

Apple, Dell, Samsung, Yahoo and a variety of other large companies are also vying for their own TLDs. Amazon, for example, applied for 77 (.shop, .secure), Microsoft applied for 23 (.azure, .hotmail, .skydrive,) and Apple for just one (.Apple). Non-technology companies like Johnson & Johnson and Wal-Mart have jumped in the fray as well.

Many more attempts, however, were made for TLDs like .app, and .inc, and .movie, all of which received multiple applications. Similar to last year’s .xxx efforts, generic, community-based efforts are more likely to receive the most attention and support from ICANN.

Each TLD application runs for eye-popping $185,000, which means that companies like Google have spent millions of dollars pursuing the new TLDs. ICANN itself has netted over $350 million, which goes to show that there’s some serious cash in investing in the future of the Internet.

Woman at computer via Shutterstock

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