On June 20, 2011, ICANN approved a plan to increase the number of Internet domain suffixes (“gTLDs”, e.g. .com) from the current number of 22 to an unlimited number. This expansion of the number of possible domain names is significant and opened up the possibility of registering almost any word in any language (and alphabet) as a gTLD.
ICANN announced on June 13, 2012 that it had received a total of 1,930 new gTLD applications (at a fee of $175,000 per application). Of these applications, 66 are geographic name applications and 116 are applications for Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs) for strings in scripts such as Arabic, Chinese and Cyrillic. Applications were received from 60 countries and territories. Many proposed gTLDs corresponded with brand names (e.g. .google, .yahoo, .bloomingdales), while others were more generic (e.g. .website, .toys, .sport). The list of new gTLDs and their respective applicants may be viewed here. Some of the interesting domains applied for include “adult”, “apple”, “attorney”, “cancerresearch”, “church”, “democrat” & “republican”, “hgtv”, “ooo”, “shopping” and “wiki”.