American internet giants Amazon and Google were the top applicants on Wednesday for a broad range of new top level domain names that could dramatically change the functioning of the internet address system.
ICANN, the non-profit organization that regulates the internet, announced the new name applications on Wednesday, saying the introduction of the new domains would “change the internet forever.” The new domains will mark the biggest ever expansion of internet addresses, with almost 2,000 applications posted for a total of 1,700 new top level domains that will supplement the current limited supply of suffixes such as .com, .biz, .org and other country-specific suffixes.
Google appeared to be the top bidder. A registry company that applied for such names as .google, .gmail and .android made a total of 100 applications, including for such names as .lol, .baby and .blog.
Amazon was also heavily represented with 76 applications, including .book. Apple applied for the .apple top level domain, but there were no applications for .facebook or .twitter. Other applications were made for names such as .love, .pizza and .kids.
The most applied-for domain was .app which saw 13 applications, followed by .home and .inc with 11 applications. Other popular names were .book, .blog, .llc, and .shop with nine each.
Anyone could apply to own the new domains, provided they could come up with the 185,000-dollar application fee. According to ICANN, the most applications, 911, came from the US, with 675 from Europe, 303 from Asia Pacific, 24 from Latin America and just 17 from Africa.
ICANN will decide who will receive the contested names, with the first of the new names coming online at the beginning of next year.
“This is an historic day for the internet and the 2 billion people around the world who rely on it,” said ICANN CEO Rod Beckstrom in a press conference announcing the applications.
“The internet is about to change forever. Through its history the internet has renewed itself through new ideas; we’re on the cusp of new ideas and innovation which will give rise to new jobs and ways to link communities and share information.”