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.
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.