New York City is bringing its immense offline influence further into the online world.

The city announced today that it’s been handed the rights to its own top-level domain, .nyc. With new the domain, New York City businesses (e.g, Shake Shack) can replace their websites’ .com addresses with something far more interesting. As New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg pointed out in a statement, this is all about letting businesses identify with one of the strongest brands in the world.

The new top-level domain won’t be open to just New York City businesses, however. The city also plans to allow organizations, city government entities, and residents to join in (though it isn’t entirely clear what all of this might cost).

The move comes as the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is mulling a major expansion of top-level domains, which could include additions as broad as .book and .app. New York City’s choice, by contrast, is a lot more specific and should rapidly generate returns on the $185,000 New York City paid to apply for it.

While I’m not quite sure that .nyc will create the sort of  “unprecedented local civic and economic activity” that New York City claims it will, the move no doubt fits well into the city’s larger ambitions to be the world’s next great tech hub.

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