Web addresses: The name game

AFTER the dotcom boom of the 1990s, the world is about to experience a boom in dots. Over 1,000 new generic top-level domain names (gTLDs) are set to join the 22 existing ones, such as .com and .org, and the 280 country-specific ones, such as .uk, that now grace the end of web addresses. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the non-profit organisation that manages the web’s address book, reckons this will boost competition and innovation. It will also increase the cost to businesses of protecting their brands.Some of the new gTLDs, such as .guru and .sexy, will flatter owners’ egos. Others, such as .clothing and .photography, will be used by firms to tout their wares. Among the first to go live, on February 4th, was “.web” written in Arabic script. That made history: until now all generic top-level domains have been written in Latin lettering, meaning internet users with Arabic keyboards had to wrestle with ALT, CTRL and the like to type the last few letters of most websites’ names. Other gTLDs in scripts such as Chinese and Russian will follow in the coming months.Firms including Apple, Ford and IWC, a watchmaker, have already applied to register their names as gTLDs. That will allow them to ensure they are not used by crooks or cybersquatters. Google, Amazon and others have applied for numerous gTLDs, including .app and .kindle, presumably…

Link to article: www.economist.com/news/international/21595931-new-web-domain-names-hit-market-name-game?fsrc=rss|int


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