Can’t get your favorite dot-com address? GoDaddy announced today that it will start taking pre-registrations for a quartet of new generic top-level domains (gTLDs) that will become available early next year. GoDaddy says it’s the first domain registrar to offer pre-registration for gTLDs — launching the market for what amounts to new real estate on the Internet.
Users will be able to pre-register for domains that end in .build, .uno, .menu and .luxury at GoDaddy’s new TLD site. Each TLD is designed for a particular purpose: .uno for Spanish speakers, .build for contractors and construction companies, .luxury for luxury brands and .menu for restaurants. Those will be the first four new TLDs available from the Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers, which oversees domain name registrations, with 700 others being made available within the next two years.
“We’ve heard from a lot of customers asking when they can start registering these new extensions,” GoDaddy Vice President and General Manager of Domains Mike McLaughlin said in a press release. “Offering pre-registrations is a huge step forward for this process. We expect as more names come online, the demand will increase. These new names open up many more choices for consumers, which is great for the industry, and great for consumers.”
If multiple users want the same domain, GoDaddy will place it up for auction to the highest bidder. While that means that only those with big coffers will be able to land choice domains, it does help to prevent someone from grabbing BMW.luxury and holding it hostage.In the event someone else registers the domain when registrations open up, GoDaddy says it will refund the cost of the pre-registration, minus any registration fees.
GoDaddy, which recently established an engineering office in Kirkland, Wash., isn’t the only company with a presence in the Pacific Northwest looking to capitalize on the explosion of new TLDs, either. Demand Media’s new spinoff Rightside is looking to make some serious dough with the new expansion, as is Donuts. Mysterious stealth startup Top Level Spectrum also has designs on TLDs including the controversial .sucks.
While the new TLDs start to open up, there’s still one looming question: will all of these newfangled names be able to replace good old .com? We’ll have to wait and see.