ICANN reveals “.app” as most sought-after top-level domain

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers has revealed the details of 1,930 requests for new web address endings, with “.app” emerging as the most sought-after suffix.


There are currently just 22 generic top-level domains (gTLDs) in use, including .com.


But in January this year, ICANN launched a new program, allowing businesses and organisations to apply for new gTLDs such as .hotel or .bank, in addition to current gTLDs.


The application process comes at a cost of $185,000 – putting it well out of reach for most start-ups – but larger companies have scrambled to get their desired gTLD.


In addition to the $185,000 application fee, companies face a minimum annual renewal charge of $25,000 to keep their suffix once it has been granted.


According to ICANN, the “.app” suffix has attracted 13 applicants, including Google and Amazon. Meanwhile, four firms have applied for .pizza, six for .baby and three for .basketball.


Other gTLDs attracting multiple attracting multiple requests include .art, .book, .news, .play, .shop and .vip. Some of the more specific proposals are .pizza, .ferrari and .ninja.


“This is an historic day for the internet and the two billion people around the world that depend on it,” ICANN president and chief executive Rod Beckstrom said at a press conference.


“The plan we have delivered is solid and fair. It is our fundamental obligation to increase innovation and consumer choice.”


ICCAN says it received 1,930 requests for its first round of new net names. It has now invited anyone with an objection to any of the claims to lodge their complaint in the next seven months. The initial evaluation period will continue to the end of the year.


It is aiming to make the new domains live in batches of about 500, with the first set going live at some point after March 2013.


A total of 911 applications came from North America, while 675 came from Europe and 303 from the Asia-Pacific region.


Only 17 applications for new suffixes were received from African applicants, while 24 came from Latin America and the Caribbean.


ICANN said 66 proposals were linked to geographical locations – such as .nyc, and .paris — while others relate to industries and professions, such as .insurance, .law, and .doctor.


Earlier this month, StartupSmart reported US-based start-up Donuts has applied for more than 300 gTLDs, after raising US$100 million.


According to co-founder Jon Nevett, Donuts’ gTLD applications are for generic, dictionary terms. Donuts will serve as a wholesale seller of domain names within the gTLDs it purchases.


Nevett said Donuts doesn’t expect many hiccups in the process of buying the gTLDs, describing them as “good, generic terms that will give consumers more choice and benefits”.


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