Five Takeaways From New Domain Applications

Among the 1,900 Suffixes Marketers Asked ICANN for Are .Beer and .Boo, With a Whole Lot of Surprises in Between --That Is, When the Applicants Were Specific

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Last week, the Internet Corp. for Assigned Names and Numbers released a list of more than 1,900 applications for new generic top-level domains, the mouthful of internet-speak that describes the web-address suffix to the right of the dot. Their rollout will mark the greatest expansion of the internet's infrastructure since its creation -- but how do marketers plan to use them? Since ICANN made public the text of the applications for each gTLD, we did some digging, and what we found seemed … well, judge for yourself.

ABC used 'Revenge' as an example of how it might promote shows, i.e. revenge.abc.
ABC used 'Revenge' as an example of how it might promote shows, i.e. revenge.abc.
Vague is the new specific. Either companies and organizations are keeping the grand plans for their gTLDs close to the vest, or many coughed up the $185,000 application fee without a clear strategy for how they'll use the new internet real estate other than as a "digital marketing tool." The ".beer" gTLD may be home to … health domains? Top Level Domain Holdings, a London-based domain company, applied for .beer. Among the use cases it foresees for the .beer domain is this gem: "Because beer has health benefits similar to wine, consumers will have better, more identifiable access to such health benefits as a result of the .beer domain."

Googlers are apparently R&B fans. Google applied for 101 gTLDs through an entity called Charleston Road Registry. Along with the expected .youtube and .google, several were unexpected. Topping that latter list is .boo. "The term 'boo' was popularized by a 2004 Usher and Alicia Keys duet entitled 'My Boo,'" the application reads. The company explains that "uses may include but are not limited to applications such as terms of endearment (hey.boo, youremy.boo)." Does Google have a predilection for R&B or just too much cash on its hands?

Maybe QR (quick-response) codes aren't dead after all. Google was the only entity to apply for a .ads gTLD. In the application, the company said, "content in the gTLD may include, but is not limited to, links from quick-response codes, interactive advertising across media mediums, or a place to find more information on goods or services that have been promoted through other mass media."

There's a hope that new gTLDs will make domain-name addresses easier to remember. ABC, in its application for .abc, cited two "primary thoughts" on how it may use the gTLD. One use case would focus on using second-level domains within .abc to organize original content related to individual shows. The application gives the example of hosting content about the show "Revenge" at revenge.abc, which it calls "an easy-to-remember domain name address." That would be easier to remember than today's address, bbeta.abc.go.com/shows/revenge" or even the shortcut "abc.com/revenge," which takes viewers to the same page.

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