Internet addressing authority ICANN (The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) has released a handful of new domain extensions into the wild, including .bike, .guru and .singles. For now, only companies with registered trademarks can sign up for a new address, but they will become available to the public in January.
The latest batch of domain name options come as part of the biggest shakeup in URLs that the Internet has seen in its short history. “In the weeks and months ahead, we will see new domain names coming online from all corners of the world, bringing people, communities and businesses together in ways we never imagined,” said ICANN’s Akram Atallah in press release. “It’s this type of innovation that will continue to drive our global society.”
As the BBC reports, the domain suffixes .camera, .clothing, .lighting and .voyage are among those now available. Over the next few years, around 1,400 more generic top level domains (gTLDs) are expected to be released by the governing body.
In a statement released to the BBC, Jan Corstens, project director of ICANN’s Trademark Clearinghouse, said: “From fashion brands and dating agencies, to spiritual healers and cycle advocates, the launch of these new domains mean consumers can easily find specific content within each extension, while businesses will benefit from a stronger and more relevant online proposition.”
ICANN has already asked companies across the world to register their interest in particular gTLDs. The BBC is looking to get hold of the .bbc domain, while Google has laid claim to several suffixes, such as .google, .youtube and, .boo. As yet no decisions have been made on how to distribute these addresses. There are currently close to 2,000 applications at the pending stage.
As well as these specific gTLDs, more generic addresses such as .shop, .hotel, .app and .site are expected to come online in the months to come. Certain place names, such as .london, have already been announced by ICANN.