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The Domain Name Explosion

The years from 2013 to 2015 and beyond look set to be significantly important to the history of the internet. The number of domain name extensions will expand by more that 1,000 — offering many times more possibilities for individuals, companies and media groups to create a meaningful identity on the net.

Prior to 2013 there were only about 300 domain extensions. About 22 generic general strings like .com and .net, and about 280 country code domains like and .cn. The status quo is about to change in the coming domain name explosion.

Once this significant milestone is passed, the internet will explode in volume with countless new websites launched. The number of domain choices will quadruple in just a couple of short years. More people and more groups will move towards the multiple domain strategy model. This will be a new era of expression, commerce and entertainment as more and more of the world's seven billion citizens go online.

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Opinion is divided about how successful the new domains will be, given the traditional dominance of .com in global commerce. So there is a great difference of opinion about the scale of this massive potential expansion of the domain spectrum.

But it is hard to find a reason why many of the new strings won't be as comparatively successful as existing domain extensions, on average, over time. Collectively, the impact of this would be gigantic.

Given the unprecedented volume of a thousand new strings offering millions of naming possibilities, the domain name explosion looks set to revolutionize the internet.

Application Details's Discovery Labs has published a highly useful list of new TLD applications and you can read relevant excerpts from the applications on their site.





The New Domains

Until the rollout of the new domains begins, there are only two categories of domain names — generic and "country code". Generics are top level domains (TLDs) like .com, .net, .org and .info. There are only around 22 of these, and some are small specialized registries like .museum and .aero. There are around 280 country code domains, like .fr for France and for Australia. This limitation on the domain name system (DNS) has caused a shortage and squeeze on useful domains in light of the rapid growth trajectory of the internet.

The number of meaningful single and double word combinations is after all very finite.

This is about to change. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, (ICANN) the regulator of the DNS, has launched a program to introduce more than a thousand new domain strings that are set to transform the web.

Exact numbers are unknown since there is a complicated objection and approval process, not to mention multiple applications for many of the proposed domain strings. But there were originally about 1900 applications made for around 1400 new strings.

The Dot Generics

Joining the existing ranks of a limited number of generic domain strings will be around 650 new generics like .home, .game, .insurance, .web and .music. These will give unprecedented opportunities for new players to deploy relevant names on the net.

See also the Generic Domains page for more info.

The generic applications are not without strong controversy — many applications are for monopolistic closed registries as described on the Controversy page.

This serious issue is analysed in fine detail on the SuperMonopolies website and a large number of objections to the proposed closed gTLDs are examined.

The Dot Brands

The arrival of the brand domains may well qualify as one of the biggest transformations in the history of the web. Around 680 of the world's most successful corporations have applied for their own domain extension. Hundreds of big names like .google, .apple, .canon, .alibaba and .philips will soon be operating their own private internets. They will invest heavily to promote brand new sites based on their own exclusive dot brand domains.

Names like,,,, and will compete for attention on the ever-expanding web.

For a brief overview of this significant development, visit the Brand Domains page.

To read a comprehensive report about this milestone in the history of the internet, visit our sister site TheBrandDomains.

The Dot Cities

Many of the world's largest and wealthiest cities (and a few regions) have also been allowed to apply for domain strings in another new category. So various places like .berlin, .joberg, .london, .moscow and .quebec will soon join the internet with new offerings. See more on the City Domains page.

SPECIAL NOTE — Many internationalized domain names (IDNs) which are domains in various foreign languages and scripts will also be launched across all categories and detailed info can be obtained at ICANN's website.

The Dominance Of Dot Com

Over the last few decades the .com string has evolved into the world standard for domain names. To be the global market or media leader in just about anything requires a premium dot com domain. While the eminent position of .com is unlikely to change, it's growth is likely to slow down while millions of new websites on alternate extensions take their place on the web. Collectively, these new strings look set to become significant and powerful destinations on the interweb.



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Domain Name Explosion — More than 1,000 new domain name extensions will start launching in late 2013.


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