The regulatory body that oversees Internet domain names voted on Monday to revamp the domain naming system for websites, allowing them to end with words like apple and orange instead of suffixes such as .com or .gov.
ICANN has opened the Internet's naming system to unleash the global human imagination. Today's decision respects the rights of groups to create new top level domains in any language or script, the regulatory body said after a board meeting in Singapore.
We hope this allows the domain name system to better serve all of mankind, ICANN President and CEO Rod Beckstrom said in a statement.
ICANN, which stands for the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, said it will accept applications for domains with new suffixes from January 12 next year.
Experts say corporations and cities should be among the first applicants to register for new generic top-level domain names (gTLDs), resulting in domain names ending in brands like .toyota, .apple, or place names like .newyork.
Today, just 22 gTLDs exist -- .com, .org and .info are a few examples -- plus about 250 country-level domains like .uk or .cn. After the change, several hundred new gTLDs are expected to come into existence.
(Reporting by Kevin Lim; Editing by Robert Birsel)