It’s always interesting to travel back through time, and examine the lifecycle and events of a trending topic, especially when it relates to domains.
Now having been entrenched or involved with domains for the last 7-8 years, I find that the domain industry is not an exception.
There have been a number of trends — blockchain, crypto, bitcoin, 4L .coms, numeric, and emoji domains to name a few — that have come, gone, returned, and left once more.
Out of the aforementioned topics, emoji domains is the most intriguing for a number of reasons.
It’s been over two years since emoji domains burst onto the scene thanks to an DomainSherpa interview with Matan Israeli and Jon Roig.
Because of the attention garnered from DomainSherpa as well as Coca-Cola’s emoticons campaign, emoji domains caught fire.
A small group of domain investors and hobbyists took to keyboards all over the world in hopes of riding the next domain land rush as a emoji movie, tv show, and memorabilia saturated every nook and cranny known to man.
With .ws leading the way and ballooning to nearly 22K emoji domain registrations, other ccTLD’s — .to, .fm, .ai — attempted to cash in by allowing emoji domain registration via their very own emoji domain search engine.
As I watched emoji domain registration numbers balloon, I couldn’t help but to wonder how emoji domains would fair once the ole’ renewal grinch came knocking, especially for non single character emoji domains.
This tends to be the lifecycle of such domains in general. They’re hot one minute, and not the next.
But here we are two years later, and I was reminded of the emoji domain rollercoaster ride when discovering DomainSherpa’s latest hour long episode: Emoji Domains — ROI, Tech Updates & More — with Matan Israeli.
If you’ve tracked with the emoji domain journey, then some of the information discussed is likely not going to be new.
One of the unknown updates mentioned was the ability to right click Chrome’s address bar from a desktop and select “Emoji & Symbols”. This is in addition to selecting “Emoji & Symbols” from Chrome’s Edit menu.
This feature is a new and improved action from having to remember Windows and Mac keystroke combinations to trigger emoji keyboard.
Nevertheless, the interview touches on a number of thoughts and events occurring over the past 2 years that catapulted both Matan Israeli and emoji domains from obscurity into prominence.
And while I’ve conversed with Matan a number of occasions, in my humble opinion, DomainSherpa’s latest interview fails to truly substantiate the ROI of Matan’s emoji domain investment with real numbers. Matan states he has realized over 200 emoji domain sales, mostly single .ws emoji domains, and has earned a six figure income doing so.
Of course, everyone has their right not to “show and tell”. I’m not saying Matan hasn’t realized emoji domain sales, but six figure income doing so… that’s where doubt creeps in for some strange reason.
After all, DomainSherpa has interviewed a number of domains investors — Logan Flatt, Mark Levine, and Josh Reason to name a few — that revealed their strategy as well as details behind their 5- and 6-figure sales.
If total sales were mid 5-figure, then I likely wouldn’t question simply based on data from NameBio.com, DNAcademy, and from what I’ve witnessed verifiable end-user and auction sales for emoji domains to ring in over the last two years.
.com enthusiasts are likely to claim this is nothing but a publicity stunt to prime the pump to pad Matan’s pocket. Others are likely to claim this is a fake news moment hoping to reignite and relive the glory days of the previous two years.
No matter where you stand — right, wrong, or indifferent — I personally think emoji domains have likely had their day in the sun, although I continue to hold the handful of single .ws and .to emoji domains I’ve purchased out of novelty and for occasional use via social media.
In full transparency, I almost pulled the trigger on purchasing ?.ws a few weeks ago, but then decided to purchase a few quick-flip .com domains instead.
Now I could be completely wrong and emoji domains turn the corner, becoming the go-to marketing tool of what remains in 2019 and beyond. If so, I’ll eat crow and say so!
However, with the latest emoji domain registrations for .ws falling below 1,200, this doesn’t spell comeback or the brightest of bright futures at all in my opinion, especially knowing that less than 9% of registered .ws emoji domains are single character (the most valuable of all emoji domains).
Doubles, triples, and combos have long been dropped or dropping at the very moment as the emoji domain renewal grinch forces domain investors and hobbyist to rethink their emoji domain investment strategy.
In closing, time itself will unveil a story of whether or not emoji domain investments were worth their price of admission and renewal. I’ll certainly keep documenting the journey and sharing my thoughts…
For now, all emoji domain investor eyes are eagerly on ?.ws as it sits awaiting its moment in the sun as an expired emoji domain auction.
As always, perform your own due diligence to increase the likelihood of realizing a profitable domain investment, no matter what genre of domain. 😉
Thanks, and that’s all for now.