Web browser Opera is enabling emoji-only web addresses, the company announced on Monday. Opera says the new collaboration brings a new level of creativity to the internet. The new feature is possible through a partnership with Yat, a startup that sells URLs with emojis in them and owns the Y.at domain. Through Yat, you can make a one-time purchase and the company will provide you with your own Y.at link.
Opera says the emoji-centric integration makes it easier for people to find and be directed to Yat pages, which are unique domains that are generated when a Yat is created from a personalized string of emojis. Following the integration, Yat emoji web addresses on Opera no longer need to be followed by “.y.at,” as before. Also, emojis embedded on web pages will now link to the corresponding Yat page automatically.
“The partnership marks a major paradigm shift in the way the internet works,” touted Jorgen Arnesen, the executive vice president of mobile at Opera, in a statement. “It’s been almost 30 years since the world wide web launched to the public, and there hasn’t been much innovation in the weblink space: people still include .com in their URLs. Through the integration with Yat, Opera users are able to ditch .com or even words in their links and use only emojis to be directed to websites. It’s new, it’s easier and more fun.”
Users can customize their Yat page or redirect it to anywhere else on the web. Several celebrities have been early adopters of Yat pages. For example, American DJ Steve Aoki uses his Yat page to direct people to his website, and rapper Lil Wayne‘s Yat page takes you to his record label. Kesha has her Yat link in her Twitter bio.
Of course, users could purchase their own domain name that supports emojis and use it instead of a Yat link, but Yat has made this process quicker and simpler for those without the time, resources or technical expertise to do so. But this convenience comes at a cost. The fewer emoji characters in a Yat, the more expensive it is.
Opera notes that with over 90% of 4.6 billion users around the world using emojis to express themselves, its new partnership with Yat gives people a new way to be present online. It also outlines that the new partnership unlocks enhanced functionality, as users don’t have to type in alphanumeric characters into a URL.
“Whether you’re an artist, musician, creator, business owner, or just want to increase your following, this integration is invaluable, making it easier for you to connect and share content with your community through your unique string of Yat emojis,” said Naveen Jain, the co-founder and CEO of Yat, in a statement.
Today’s announcement comes as Opera recently launched its web3 “Crypto Browser” in beta. It includes features like a built-in crypto wallet, easy access to cryptocurrency/NFT exchanges, support for decentralized apps (dApps) and more. The goal of the browser is to simplify the web3 user experience.