Top level domains were originally limited to .com, .net, .org and a few others. In recent years, ICANN has authorized hundreds of new top level domains. In some cases, these prove useful for businesses and brand owners, especially since .com has become so congested. In large part, though, new gTLDs create problems for brand owners, since they create new opportunities for cybersquatters.
Google runs the .app domain space, and .app domains will be available to the public for registration starting on May 8. There was an early registration period for certain brand owners, and individuals and businesses interested in a .app domain can pre-register them now. (During this pre-registration period, registrars will accept payment for domains, and if there are multiple applications for the same domain, then there will be an auction.)
The .app domain is expected to appeal to site builders and app developers, and will require HTTPS encryption, a security feature that keeps information like credit card numbers and passwords safe when you enter them on a website. Therefore, .app domains might come to signify a trusted space in which to conduct e-commerce.
If you have a brand, then you might want to pre-register now, or register your brand.app bright and early on May 8 – before someone else does. This is especially true if your business has an associated app. Of all of the new top level domains, this seems to be one to watch. Even if you don’t expect to use the domain, you might want to invest in defensive registration, to prevent a third party from acquiring it.
You will be able to register .app domains through most registrars, like GoDaddy, Google Domains and Name.com.
If you have any questions about domain names, trademarks or other brand-related issues, feel free to be in touch.