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BRANDING NEWS: New branding opportunities after web domain suffix expansion

Internet domain suffixes are to be overhauled as regulatory body Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (Icann) has voted to increase the number available beyond the current 22.

Suffixes will now be able to contain any word and be in any language. The so-called ‘.brand’ extensions are being hailed as the biggest change to online branding in years.

Companies will now be able to create Internet addresses bespoke to their offering, without having to include ‘.com or .co.uk, for example.’

Applications for the new names will begin early next year, with large cooporates and cities expected to be among the first to invest.

Rod Beckstrom, president and CEO at Icann, said, "Icann has opened the internet's addressing system to the limitless possibilities of the human imagination.

"No one can predict where this historic decision will take us."

Early research from Sedo suggests companies do have an interest in capitalising on the new domain name possibilities but the associated expense is likely to dictate the types of organisations among the first wave of applications.