When we visit a website, we're used to entering “.com,” “.org” or “.net.” But what about “.horse” or “.beer”? Soon, it may not be so weird to visit websites like napa.wine or local.cafe, as the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) rolls out its latest reserves of available domains, many of which include food- and drink-specific titles.
Thousands of these new cheeky, industry-specific website endings — also known as generic top-level domains (or gLTDs) — are being released this year in what many tech websites have called the biggest land rush in the history of the Internet.
Though only a handful were released in January, many more (from .pizza to .organic) will go on sale starting next month. In the meantime, contractors are scrambling for the rights to sell coveted names, registrars are setting up portals where those names can be claimed and businesses (such as Amazon and JPMorganChase) are lapping up their own custom website endings in the largest release of new names since the internet began.
By next year, there will be more than 1400 gTLDs, compared with the 23 that existed in 2013.
A major participant in many of these domain names is a Santa Monica-based company called Minds + Machines, which is one of the leading applicants for, and owner and operator of, hundreds of new gTLDs.
Though it also owns the rights to .coffee, .pub and .menu, the company of late has been focusing promotion efforts on .beer, a growing market segment it believes will benefit from increased visibility afforded by gTLDs.
“.beer stands out from the generic .com websites,” the company said in a press release announcing the general availability of .beer starting in September. “.beer offers businesses outstanding new sales and marketing opportunities, such as rebranding to an outstanding .beer name instead of a long and confusing .com name; creating new promotions/product launches; or simply adding another virtual door to their existing website.”
Suggested uses of the .beer gTLD include craft.beer, american.beer, draft.beer and lager.beer. Suggestions for other foodie gTLDs owned by Mind + Machines include vegan.recipes, fresh.fish, russian.vodka and pasorobles.wine.
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Prices for the unreleased names are still unknown, however, the ones currently available run from $35 to $55 per year.
For more information on registering these and other new gTLDs, visit mindsandmachines.com.