IDNs take the internet to new frontiers

The introduction of Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs) signals the opening of the Web to new markets and a big opportunity for businesses operating, or looking to operate, on a global scale.

Last month IANA, the body responsible for the allocation of Top Level Domains into the root zone, finally delegated the first four new generic Top Level Domains (gTLDs) onto the Internet. The first four new gTLDs to go live were IDNs:

????. — “.web” in Arabic 
.?? — “.games” in Chinese 
.???? — “.site” in several Cyrillic languages 
.?????? — “.online” in several Cyrillic languages 

There are 1.7 billion combined Chinese, Russian and Arabic speakers globally, and the launch of the four new IDNs will effectively open up the Web to a vast new portion of the world’s population. This represents a huge turning point in the Internet economy, which is already worth an estimated £2.6 trillion in the G20 countries. Moving forward, organizations will be able to register Web addresses in Chinese, Russian and Arabic scripts, allowing them to fully engage with targets in those markets and provide a gateway to new regions.

How can you prepare for this new online era?

Since the launch of the first four IDNs, we have already started to see the emergence of registry sites in Latin script with http://nic.??????/, http://nic.????/ and a full Arabic script domain from dotShabaka ://????-????.??????/ going live. As a result, businesses need to start preparing for the change that is occurring online.

In total, there will be almost 600 new suffixes available for brands to apply for which will allow customers across the world to easily identify a brand’s website, the services it provides and have greater trust in its online content, simply by looking at the Web address. In line with the latest developments, organizations need to stay in control of their digital footprint by identifying those domains that are most relevant for their business and that will add the greatest value.

Request a new gTLD audit here or take a look at our New gTLD Guide for more information.