Every year, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers – or ICANN – releases a new batch of top level domains. Some of these new TLDs will gradually increase in popularity, while others will remain obscure without ever achieving widespread recognition.
Web users are rightly wary of unfamiliar domains, and it can take a decade for new TLDs to achieve international respectability. But how many recently launched top level domains might eventually enter the mainstream?
- .cloud. With the cloud hosting everything from programs and emails to music and movies, this method of data access is becoming ubiquitous. Service providers may want to secure a .cloud suffix to emphasize their online credentials and modernity.
- .game. Along with the .games alternative, many users think .game has got…well, you know, game. Software companies will drive demand for these new TLDs, since they can be more appropriate than a .com suffix. The same can also be said of our next tip…
- .blog. It sometimes feels like the whole world is blogging. Being able to differentiate a blog from a corporate website will be a boon for people not tied into a WordPress or Blogger account. It also avoids the clumsy .com/blog suffix currently being used.
- .eco. Environmental concerns are never far from the front pages, and .eco has value for companies looking to boost their green credentials. Available to businesses, non-profits and individuals, .eco is backed by Greenpeace and the UN Global Compact.
- .bot. Some people have high hopes for .app later this year, but .bot is perhaps more in keeping with the times. Apps are downloaded through smartphone stores, whereas bots have stronger links to the WWW. Also, chatbots are expected to be everywhere soon.
- .web. The right to operate the .web TLD cost Verisign $135 million after a long legal battle over ownership, suggesting confidence in their purchase. Having first been operated as a prospective registry in 1995, .web could quickly become mainstream.
- .music. From solo artists and bands to crowdfunding platforms and record labels, the scope for .music is obvious. Its launch later this year may well trigger a rush of first-day site registrations, making this one of the new TLDs worth watching out for.
- .ing. Consumers are becoming increasingly confident about using domains whose TLD completes a word, like rad.io or happi.ly. Given how many English words end with the ‘ing’ suffix, this domain could be exploited to spell out words or phrases.