On January 29, 2014 ICANN, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers began to roll out the first few of seven hundred new domain name suffixes after almost a decade of debate, delays and countless quarrels.
To put that into perspective, prior to 2011 the sub-domains available to users online were fixed at just twenty-two for non country-specific domains as part of the general top level domains (gTLDs). When the governing body lifted this restriction with the addition of an entity, options for commercial enterprises increased.
The decision was ultimately focussed on sparking a wave on innovation online and now, just under a year later, a total of 1,930 applications have been submitted to ICANN with some 1,270 having already been approved.
Are Consumers Aware?
The most common commercial domain names have always been .com, .gov and .org in the past and these have become so ingrained in the public perception of what the internet represents, that consumers may not even be aware these changes are taking place.