At a special meeting in Singapore, ICANN, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, approved new generic top-level domain names for websites. The move will let companies and brands to take further control of their identity by allowing them to register specialized domains.

As it currently stands, there are 22 generic top-level domains including .com, .org, and .net. There are also around 250 country-levl domains like .uk. The new measure will, for example, allow a company like Apple to create a .apple top-level domain for all of its web sites.

Applications for these new domains will open up in January 2012, and will cost companies $185,000 to apply. Before a domain is purchased, the buyer must be able to show a legitimate claim to the name.

ICANN believes the new GTLDs will give companies tighter control over their brand image on the Internet as well as give smaller companies the opportunity to register web address no longer available with one of the current top-level domains. So, for example, that awesome thai spot near your crib will be able to register its name with ".food".

[via Reuters]

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