US company Donuts Inc. will be releasing a flurry of new domain suffixes including “.financial”, “.guru” and “.bike”.
Donuts, a US-based internet domain name registry founded in 2011, will regulate the new domains and allow various domain registry firms to sell them publicly. An additional spurt of web addresses will be released on 5 February, including “.camera”, “.equipment”, “.estate”, “.gallery”, “.graphics”, “.lighting”, and “.photography”.
“Starting this week, new, relevant and specific internet naming options will be available on a scale never before seen,” said Donuts co-founder and chief executive Paul Stahura.
Over 100 new generic top-level domains ( gTLDs) have recently reached companies like Donuts, marking the largest domain expansion in internet history.
Branching out beyond the standard suffixes — such as .com, .co.uk and .net — is a welcome change for the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers ( ICANN), which has spent many years pressing for greater domain expansion, with the corporation claiming that opening up additional domain names will bring about one of the biggest changes to the web since its creation.
“This is an historic milestone for ICANN’s New gTLD Program and the internet as a whole,” said Christine Willett, vice president of gTLD operations. “The year ahead will be defined by new opportunities in a vastly expanding online landscape.”
However, these unique and specific domains can feel redundant at a time when memorising URLs is becoming less of a necessity thanks to the ease of use, ubiquity and efficacy of finding particular websites or businesses via popular search engines. Whilst some new domain suffixes are undoubtedly useful, such as last years introduction of Chinese characters, providing some much needed alternative domains for over one billion Asian internet users — “.guru” or even “.london” still have a “custom number plate” feel to them. Novel, but of little use.
“We’re seeing the biggest, most influential shift in online identities since it all started,” Donuts’ vice president of communications, Mason Cole, said in a blog post. “It’s been a long time coming but the new gTLD program is now a reality, and things are happening quickly.”
Adapted from wired.co.uk