Over a 100 gTLDs

The  ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers), an organization that manages Internet domain names, recently announced that there are more than 100 gTLDs that have been introduced into the Internet’s root.

Even if you’ve never heard of a gTLD, you would surely recognize one when you see it! Here’s a clue – the “.com” in “google.com” is a gTLD.

Domain names are web addresses such as “www.google.com” and “www.mit.edu”. The right-most label in a domain name  (“.com” or “.edu”) is called a TLD (top-level domain). Some TLDs indicate domains belonging to a country. For example, “rakuten.jp” is the site for Rakuten, Japan’s largest e-commerce store. The “.jp” stands for Japan. Similarly, “baidu.cn” is the site for China’s largest search engine. “.jp”, “.cn”, and similar country domains are referred to as ccTLDs.

You’ve seen some domain names that end with three or more letters such as “.com” or “.edu”. These are called generic TLDs (gTLDs). Until October last year, there were only 22 gTLDs. ICANN decided to allow more gTLDs to be introduced, and now there are over a hundred. You can view a list of these gTLDs here.

Did you know?

The first message that was sent between two computers (about 400 miles or 650 km apart) was on October 29, 1969 in California, United States. The message was supposed to be the word “log”, but after “l” and “o” were sent, the system had some problems and the word was sent again. If you look at the first three letters that were ever sent between two computers, they were “lol”  – three letters that are coincidentally used a lot these days as an abbreviation for “laughing out loud”!

Image Credits: www.icann.org for its logo
Sources: http://www.icann.org, http://www.lk.cs.ucla.edu/, npr.org