Emoji URL!? No seriously, this is a thing!

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Imagine using an emoji for your website domain name…… Smiley face? Coffee cup? What if you owned a sushi train business and your website was accessed simply using the sushi and train emojis!?

GoDaddy gave a sneak peek into the future with ❤❤❤.ws, the world’s FIRST Emoji Domain Registration search engine, so people can now easily search for, and purchase, emoji-based domain names that are available. The search engine was developed by a GoDaddy dev following a company HackFest last week.

Custom domains are a great way for a brand to personalise their online presence. As Tara Commerford, GoDaddy country manager Australia and New Zealand notes, “recent regulatory changes have opened up a range of new domain-name extensions to Australian businesses, including city-specific ones like .sydney and .melbourne.” Non-text options for brands will only further allow for creativity on the web.

EXAMPLE EMOJI DOMAINS

“Emojis have exploded in popularity, becoming an essential part of the online vernacular. Driven by the rise of mobile internet usage, which now accounts for over 60 percent of traffic, consumers are integrating emojis into their conversations on social media, messaging and beyond,” said Theresa McGinness Geraghty, GoDaddy Product Manager.

“As website domain names evolve, you can imagine a world where consumers and brands can choose from, and combine, emojis when creating a memorable address for their websites.

Imagine if when you bought a domain name it came with an emoji shortcut as standard. Think of a brand like Burger King – it could be both fun and convenient to see the burger and the crown emoji combined. In the event that emoji domain names are released into the mainstream there could be a huge opportunity for brands to get creative and use emoji shortcuts in their marketing.

While the possibility of emoji domain names in the wild is intriguing, there are many technical and intellectual property hurdles that will need to be overcome to implement them at scale while preserving the security and integrity of the Internet Domain Name System. Over the past several years, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has been an industry leader in the development of Internationalized Domain Names solutions which use complex algorithms and rulesets to introduce localized domain names in character sets such as Chinese and Arabic. The industry is embracing these new names, and at the same time striving to ensure that innovations in domain names are universally accepted by software and systems.

In the past few years newer domain extensions using traditional character sets such as ‘.NYC’ and ’.CLUB’ have made a big splash. Down the track, we’re interested to see if non-text options become available, and, if so, we expect that emojis will have a fun role to play in that potential new era of visual website domain names.”

EMOJI DOMAINS ARE 100% COMPATIBLE WITH ALL BROWSERS

You didn’t know this worked, did you?

Most people have no idea they can just type a bunch of hearts in their address bar and go to a domain.

… and yet, here you are.

You’re one of the insiders. A pioneer. A cool kid.

HOW DOES IT WORK?

Behind the scenes, all domains are ASCII, even if you see the domain name displayed as an emoji.

The actual mechanics aren’t that important, but the key thing to know is that the browser uses a strategy called “punycoding” to convert “❤❤❤” to “xn--qeiaa” behind the scenes.

Most browsers keep this process hidden… but even when it’s not, your emoji domain will work.

CAN I MIX ASCII AND EMOJI?

It’s all emoji or nothing!

… I’m not sure why, but I suspect it’s to avoid domain spoofing.

EMOJI SEARCH RESULTS?

Emoji domains are fully Google compatible.

IS THIS COMPATIBLE WITH OTHER GODADDY SERVICES?

Yes. We eat our own dog food.

Everything on ❤❤❤.ws is set up through GoDaddy: the domain, SSL, email forwarding, etc…

WHY AREN’T THERE MORE EMOJI DOMAINS?

There will be.

The language of emojis is universal, understood all over the world.

As mobile first web usage skyrockets, the logic of emoji domain names is inescapable.

Until now, emoji domain names been difficult to register. One has to have a reasonably sophisticated knowledge of punycode and whatnot to even look to see whether domains are available. From there, the setup is a bit of a pain.

It’s not like you can go to the GoDaddy homepage on a mobile phone and start entering emojis.

❤❤❤.ws solves that problem.

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