Yesterday, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) approved the creation of new generic top-level domains (gTLDs) for brands and organizations. The 22 general use top-level domains (TLDs) like .com, .net, and .org, will soon be joined (or replaced?) by brand names such as .facebook or .coke.
Most of the information about the process is pretty confusing and won't effect average end users anytime soon, but it's still very interesting. Only the big brands will be able to apply for one of these gTLDs since the application fee is $185,000 alone, and only during select windows when applications are being accepted.
Of course, for each question answered about gTLDs, more are asked. For example, how will brands that purchase gTLDs modify their domain names? If Apple gets the gTLD .apple, will their website be www.apple.apple? Or will phrases that previously went "after the slash" (i.e. apple.com/ipod) become the domain name, so it's www.ipod.apple? One can only imagine the branding and marketing problems that will arise out of this.
Is it just me that thinks this may make things too confusing for the average end user? This move may end up drastically changing the internet and how we use it. Are you ready?