2017 has brought more attention to emoji domains than any other year I can remember.
From i❤️domains to the excellent guide produced by DNAcademy, to a high schooler named Shane Brunswick, an incoming high school sophomore who created Domainoji.com, an emoji domain registration website that automatically converts emojis to punycode.
Blake Irving, CEO of GoDaddy expressed his fondness for emoji domains in a product chat he did in January.
Mr. Irving was asked on ProductHunt about his stance on emoji domains.
Blake Irving@blakei · CEO, GoDaddy
@rrhoover emoji domains are great and it’s a place where we’ve innovated. Personally, I like them because they’re short and visual. They work great on mobile. The more opportunity there is to be creative in the domain space, the better. Most companies miss opportunities to integrate domain names into their advertising and really extend to customer experience from the very beginning to the end. Discoverability is still an issue though. They have to become easier to search for on Google.
Gary Vaynerchuk who wasn’t sure that you could have an emoji in a url, loves the idea, he really doesn’t care much about domain names, but would love to have an emoji domain. Gary sees emoji’s crossing generational borders, Vaynerchuk said that emoji is a language now and that if you don’t understand that, you don’t understand the world.
Last week Matthew Hughes of the Next Web did an article on a new site helping people register emoji domains in the Tongan cctld .to.
Mr. Hughes wrote, “Emoji is the language of now. And as is the case with languages, it’s bursting forward, making its mark on almost everything. You can now even buy web addresses that consist of an emoji, followed with a traditional top-level domain (TLD).”
Now he is a little off as .to is a cctld and not a traditional top level domain like .com,.net,.org.
Emoji domains in .com are scarce and new ones are not allowed due to an ICANN ruling called “IDN2008” disallowing emojis along with some other types of registrations.
Emoticons are not emoji
The Guardian published a piece that explains the difference. From the article:
An emoticon is a typographic display of a facial representation, used to convey emotion in a text only medium. Like so:
Invented multiple times over human history, its internet-era genesis is widely considered to have occurred in September 1982, when computer scientist Scott Fahlman suggested to the Carnegie Mellon University message board that 🙂 and 🙁 could be used to distinguish jokes from serious statements online. Shortly thereafter came the name, a portmanteau of the phrase “emotion icon”.
In contrast to the grassroots creation of the emoticon, emoji were created in the late 1990s by NTT DoCoMo, the Japanese communications firm. The name is a contraction of the words e and moji, which roughly translates to pictograph.
Unlike emoticons, emoji are actual pictures, of everything from a set of painted nails (?) to a slightly whimsical ghost (?). And where emoticons were invented to portray emotion in environments where nothing but basic text is available, emoji are actually extensions to the character set used by most operating systems today, Unicode.
Emojis can be used to show intent
The Next Web looked at a case where an emoji was actually used to prove intent.
A landlord in Israel has successfully sued a couple who mislead him with emoji, with the judge ruling that the tiny pictures constituted a statement of intent.
The landlord, Yaniv Dahan, posted an ad on a classified site for his home, and received a response from a couple. After giving him the impression they wanted to rent the house, he took down the ad — and then the couple stopped responding to his texts. Incensed at being ghosted, Dahan took the couple to small claims court.
John Harrison says
I think emoji domains will be excellent as additional marketing tools. They aren’t going to replace anything we currently know but in a mobile first world, where messaging apps have eclipsed traditional social media platforms in usage, they have a real shot.
The nice thing about emoji domains is that people already like, use and obsess over emoji.
There’s a lot to be said for their use in business:
Popularity in society
Native to chat and social platforms
Several studies show emoji usage increases engagement
Emoji search is growing and emoji like ⌚ show watch brands
They speak to more than one language
They will help a business stand out (in the short term)
There are lots of pioneers in the business world taking advantage too:
page howe says
Thanks Raymond for the perspective. Its been a fun ride for me since Namescon when Matan showed us some wonderful uses of emoji names, and then Jon Roigs godaddy site made everything easier…
Its an incomplete puzzle comes right now because if your IOS you love em , can type them in and see the potential. But android and desktop you dont quite see it yet…but i think im ok being early ..
I see emoji as the second most important language in every continent, not even English covers so much of the worlds population, especially in the younger demographic. At todays prices theres enough smoke, even if no outright fire.
Right now they are great shorteners and hey lookie here’s. I like the .ws because its an established registry, the names are portable between registrars, it has a public whois, and i can test something for a year for $4.99, or get some great 1 characters for $1-2k.
I do use emoji in windows 10 with an extension to chrome at emojione.com but two keys things will happen later in the year:
– windows 10 will add a popup keyboard with a one click
– android will separate the updating of character sets from the operating system updates. right now if your on verizon you have a different android than sprint etc – and most dont users update, try it. youll like it.
and many times on social networks you have limited space, these 1-3 chracter emojis can let yu put links in tweets and only take up 9-10 characters with the http – its your own customer shortener. Plus you stand out in any directory or listing of websites becuase your the only one in COLOR!
if your looking for the next 20% up per month domain investment category with liquidity like LLLL in 2015, this aint that…
but if you think pictures, mobile, smartphones, millenials and short urls might have a future thats why im into these emoji .ws domains. And yes im ok with the .ws, com cant do them and would probably take 2 years of public comment (can you imagine the trademark lobby claiming their word trademarks should extend) ??
yeah its kinda tough to copy and paste in windows, yeah they sometime dont show up in posts, but sometimes and many times they do
thanks for the report as what soccer fans call a “neutral”
Thx for covering Emoji Domains!
Emoji domains are cool if you a top tier one. Those are all gone so how would you use one that has multiple emojis in your name or a combination word plus emoji? There are not enough lower tier good ones to create a market in my opinion. Great for a simple marketing gimmick but junk for long term use. Add in the fact that its .ws makes it even worse.
page howe says
ok maybe i can help, doublez can be cool and lots avaiable,,when you add mixes. like hotdeals with a flames theres still plenty,
and ws, who so bad? wrre not saying pick it over .com, .com cant offer them,
but if one airline doesnt even fly to where u want to go, and one does, you take the one thst does.
and at todays prices even 3- 5 yesrs of use make it a bargain, if you buy em, use em
I love Gary V’s reaction to whether or not an emoji within a domain is possible. Then his reaction afterwards when they find out emojis within your domain is a possibility. Priceless.
That is the response I see from others when I’ve talked to anyone about the possibility of an emoji in a domain.
They get it, BUT most importantly they want one!
I am not speaking about domainers liking these at all. Very few do.
I didn’t at first. Well I didn’t NOT like them. I just could have cared less about them since I was only laser focused on my Dot Coms and my Dot TVs being in my portfolio.
I resisted at first myself. I heard about it when Matan brought these up at NamesCon. I thought they were cute and someone would make a few bucks off of a couple, but not for me. But just like most new gTLD’s. A few will make a couple bucks off of them then they will fizzle.
The more I heard about these emojis, the more I saw these all around me. I know they have been surrounding me for years but I was blind to them. Then I started seeing emojis around as forms of communication, not just a colorful picture.
Today, I saw a commercial from Progressive Auto Insurance. Flo was dancing to the music and there was no talking. Just 4 screens with words and emojis communicating the savings they would save you. Thats it
These emojis are the language now. Emoji keyboards are everywhere. In my Apple phone, my Android, on my MacBook Pro, they are on Facebook, Twitter, etc. These keyboards are everywhere and only getting more support by the day.
Google search shows emojis as actual words now. Yes, you can get ranked on Google based on that emoji you and your Company use.
Any word we own in the dot com, or whatever your preferred TLD is, probably has 40+ different worldwide spellings due to all of the different languages so it is nearly impossible to own all of the versions of that one domain.
But a picture paints a thousand words. One emoji says the same thing to everyone in all corners of the world. Universal Language.
Actually many emojis have multiple meanings for the same picture which gives you that much more power with your emojis.
Ok so my post here may not convince any domainers to look up some emoji domains right now at all and thats perfectly fine. More for me…lol
But do this. Talk to a non-domainer, anyone at all that does not do what we do and don’t talk domains as you and I have known them for years but bring this up… You CAN have an emoji in your domain. See their reaction. See how their reaction reflects the same – Wow, wide eyed excited reaction of Gary V.
THOSE people are our customers,
not you and I as domainers.
Now THAT is pretty exciting!
Thanks for the post Ray.
One more thing,
as long as I have been domaining the feeling of getting a domain you have been chasing is always a great feeling once escrow clears and the domain finally enters your account. Well I was lucky to get amy favorite emoji domain that I love and the feeling of excitement is still there.
I bought ?.ws
I just think the smiley with the sunglasses is the coolest emoji out there. The actual shorthand name of that emoji is “cool”. That doesn’t matter to me, It is just my favorite looking emoji and I have it as the single character which is all that matters to me. I have it forwarded to my EmojiDomains Twitter account now. I think that is the absolute coolest way to forward anyone to any site at all. I own many very good word domains but this one is one that I will always use as my brand wherever I forward it to. It is just exciting and cool.
Mike Cyger (Domain Sherpa) owns ?.ws
He uses the Unicorn to forward to his Linkedin. Whether anyone meets him and remembers the exact spelling of his name or not they WILL remember the Emoji Unicorn Website. There is just something very cool about that.
MGM – You wouldn’t think MGM needs any forwarding campaign to market their World Class Hotel/Casino but they own – Slot Machine x 3 ???.ws
I doubt they need this emoji since everyone knows them but they have it and are using it because it makes sense and is fun.
The coolness factor of these is almost undescribable.
Whatever your thing is, lets say you are party/dog ?? or home/security ?? etc. There is something cool about having your emoji as your address.
There is just something very different and exciting about these.
What would your emoji be?
I bet if anyone reading this opened up that emoji keyboard, you would find a good 1-character or 2-character that would represent you and your service/product/company or just for personal reasons because you are that party dog emoji!
Another page for the book of great delusions…
Will ICANN ever allow the use of emoji domains in .com? I think I would be worried that if emoji domains did catch on that ICANN would open the floodgates for .com and all the .ws emoji domains would be worthless overnight.
Based on ICANN reports earlier in the year, No.
page howe says
i think it might be hard to see things in approved overnight, killed and worthless overnite, black and white winners and losers mentality
im building and experiencing in .ws
if if if
if they ever come in .com, new tlds took from 1999 til 2014, and
im not sure the tens of thousands of registration would be a blip for .com to go against safety and security committee,
ill be more prepared and ready with time and user under my belt,
but ill be the first to admit emoji have use limitations so letting them in .com probably not smart,,,so ill take my .ws
Emojis are considered to be the Fastest Growing Language the World has ever experienced.
Some Corporations, SMBs and Startups are already effectively using Emoji Domains as part of their overall Marketing Strategies to help reach and sell to 92% of the Online Population that use Emojis, not just “Millennials”.
That being said, we are still in the initial stages of Emoji Domain Awareness and Use as most Global Businesses and Consumers are still not even aware that they can Register/Buy and Use “Emoji” Domains just like typical “Text” and “Numeric” Domains.
These are exciting times for Emoji Domains as we get to witness their growth and use around the world.
I think it’s Gawbage. . . but somebody is gonna make money from this pump and dump.
I do not care if they become popular or not so i am not biased in any way and not invested but I think most will never be valuable.
here is why:
-.com does not allow them.
– a lot of emojis are confusing as there are many symbols that resemble each other.
– people will only remember and know a limited number of them —> very few domains that will really have
– the main extension is .ws –> no mainstream sites will use .ws
– browser and software support is limited. Many sites may not display them correctly, You can’t build a business on them for that reason or at least most will be reluctant to.
They are a gimmick but they won’t be mainstream in the sense that many sites will be on emojis. Therefore most will not be valuable and even the best ones will have limited value.
page howe says
well said, im on the other side, and maybe hoping some of you points wont come true, but cant argue with the way you crafted your post, hoping to use my domaining skills to buy and trade the best ones. thanks for taking the time to post.
I think emoji domains are cool as a supplementary marketing tool, or for personal branding. & I love emoji(s) and emoticons. I used to think they were puerile, but now I recognize they have become an “international language”
Could someone elaborate on the security risks?
I may get one for another personal branding fun address, if there are no security risks?
I assume the best ones have all been taken, so where can you purchase the good ones on the aftermarket?
I am not that well versed in all of the security risks.
Read that ICANN article i posted the link to from DomainNameWire up a couple replies ago.
As for you wanting a good one in the aftermarket i can definitely help you with that. Look at your emoji keyboard and pick out a couple singles and a few 2-char combos and send me your list. If they are regged already, i can guarantee you i will get them for you at the best price possible. Contact me at Vito @ MediaBranding com
You are the one off Raymond not the journalist from TNW!
Raymond Hackney says
No I am not off the .to extension is a country code not a traditional top level domain.
Raymond you need to avoid feeding the trolls, there is no cure for stupid. TNW employs real journalists, LOL!
My first impression is that I hope they are just hype. But I can see the fun and coolness factor to them in certain situations.
Thanks for offering to help. I ended up getting several emoji domains. Let’s see what happens. 2 aftermarket and several that were still available.
I believe emoji domains are here to stay — but I’d imagine other extensions will join the emoji fest, after these emoji domains get popular. If they do. I assume they will. But never know.
Wow, That was fast!
Best of luck to you with your emoji domains!
By the way everyone reading this that has interest inbemoji domains,
While we were posting here today, just a couple hours ago Jon Roig (creator of i❤,ws) juat announced his new International Emoji Domain Registration site…
38 markets… 17 languages…
Inteenational Emoji Domain Registration site that everyone can use all over the world now when registering their ws (website) emoji domains!
Sorry about the typo.
Raymond please delete the 8 in front of the website name.
It is EmojiDomain.name
Raymond Hackney says
Thank you Ray.
Dn Ebook says
If I was silly enough to get one of these, I would only want a single, the .ws kills it though
Thank you Raymond for the wide cover of Emoji domains.
There is no doubt that Emoji domains are a the REAL DEAL.
Where can you find super short domain with transcend language boundaries
that every kid can understand and read?
Emoji domains awareness is growing exponentially is last 10 month since Godaddy massive work and Jon’s work as the guy “who explode the hidden bubble of emoji domains”.
Domainers are now familiar with it more and more thanks to you Raymond and other coverage,
and the only question is when it will arrive to the decision makers of big companies and CMO’s.
Most of the single emojis dot ws are taken by the early adopters of this market,
but are priced for investors\domainers and not for end users\big brands.
You can find some good ones in my website. http://www.emojiurl.com
The next web coverage was or paid or maid with specific interest of the writer.
Some guys here like Vito, Page etc said all that is needed to be said.
Regarding the intent and court case:
(or any of the hundreds emoji domains we’ve got)
WOW! Another great article about Emoji domains. Thanks, Ray! ?
I was made aware of Emoji domains in January of 20?, and I was instantly intrigued. I could see the endless opportunities for end users to use them in branding, marketing, advertising, web sites, clickthroughs, just to name a few uses. It makes complete sense that Emoji can be used in domain names…..Emoji is a language that is growing and increasing in popularity daily.
There are many valid comments on here that I agree with and few that I respectfully disagree with. Whatever side you are on (believer or non-believer), thank you for your comments and continuing the conversation about Emoji domains. Currently, since this is brand new, education about Emoji domains is going to be the first step of creating value. I must say, the individuals and businesses that I have educated about Emoji domains have had similar reactions to Gary V…..AMAZED!
In regards to the .WS extension, I do not see a huge obstacle in this. Times have changed since the internet boom and people understand that there are other extensions than .COM. If we are now allowing Emoji to be used in domains, we sure as heck can remember that .WS is the TLD extension for Emoji domains.
Innovators will keep innovating; Get on, or get out!
Once again, Thanks Ray for the article! Hope to see more articles and collaborative efforts in the near future ✌️
I SOLD 2 Emojis at good price
Still i had 4 Single emojis
JAMES M DORMAN says
Like it or not emojis are here to stay. Say what you will but John Harrison is spot on.in his summary. Also, a correction, there are 33 dot com emojis out there. check out https://www.punycode.com/. I happen to own ☁.com. It is one of only 33 dot com Emojis that were registered before the ICANN restriction, thus is visible on all laptops, desktops, and mobile devices. ☁.com hyperlinked or copied into the URL brings you to a landing page. I am not sure how true it is, but word on the street claims that ICANN may approve more dot com emojis. I personally don’t see how they can deny approval of at least the more popular emojis. The dot com emojis already have enormous practicality and demand on a global scale and we have just scratched the surface.