This week marks a major step toward a dramatically expanded internet, but only a few brands -- including Google and Deloitte -- say they'll take advantage of it.
On April 12, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers will stop accepting applications for a new round of generic top-level domains, or gTLDs, the part of a web address that appears to the right of the period ("com" and "org" are among 22 current top-level domains). The application process is expected to result in hundreds, if not thousands, of new gTLDs, which will likely start going live sometime next year.
But of the major marketers contacted by Ad Age , only a few said they're planning to apply for new gTLDs. A few said they weren't planning on it. The majority refused to comment, mostly likely not wanting to tip off competitors to their intentions while the application window is still open.
A Google spokesperson said the company will indeed apply for several top-level domains.
"We plan to apply for Google's trademarked TLDs, as well as a handful of new ones," the spokeswoman said in an emailed statement. "We want to help make this a smooth experience for web users -- one that promotes innovation and competition on the internet."
Google refused to provide more details, but it's likely that ".Google" and ".YouTube" will be among the trademark TLDs the company applies for. Google also wouldn't comment on how it would use its new TLDs, but one could see using ".YouTube" as a way to mark a brand's YouTube channel destination -- for example, www.AdAge.YouTube.
Deloitte and Canon were also expected to submit applications for TLDs. Canon provided the following reasoning in a 2010 announcement: "Canon hopes to globally integrate open-communication policies that are intuitive and easier to remember, compared with existing domain names such as canon.com."