The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has expanded access to top-level domains, meaning domain extensions like .photography, .expert and .pizza are now available for the taking.
This creates an opportunity for brands who wish to create a more identifiable online presence, but have not yet been able to secure an ideal domain name.
The traditional .com domain space is super saturated, leaving little opportunity for new businesses to get the domain name of their choice without paying exorbitant fees.
According to Verisign, which manages .com websites, 115.6 million of the 288 million domains registered across the globe end in .com.
To get around the issue of over-saturation, many business have resorted to using extensions like .ly, .me, and .tv. Unbeknownst to many, those were actually established as country codes — representing Libya, Montenegro, and Tuvalu respectively.
In total, over 600 new top-level domains have been purchased, with about 350 of those available to register now. Roughly 5.6 million addresses featuring these new domain extensions are already live, with .xyz, .science and .club being the most popular so far.
The new domain extensions are said to be selling for around $40 a year on average, which works out to be more than double the price of a typical .com address. That is, if you can even find a suitable .com address. An asking price of $40 looks like a bargain compared to what some squatters are asking for hard-to-get .com domains.
Many are predicting this will put an end to limited availability of domain names, while ringing in the “Not Com” revolution. Although these domain names look unusual now it’s possible that, over time, we’ll start seeing them more frequently than .com extensions.
Subscribe to SEJ
Get our daily newsletter from SEJ's Founder Loren Baker about the latest news in the industry!