Allow me to explain. That string of emojis is a URL that leads you to singer Kesha’s website when typed into the address bar of the Opera browser.
On Monday, Opera announced that emoji-only site addresses have been allowed to “bring a new level of inventiveness to the internet.”
You simply need a series of small icons like the one above to visit these sites—no “www” or “.com” required. The functionality was developed in collaboration with Yat, a firm that offers emoji-based URLs in the same way Domain.com sells regular domain names.
Yats are these one-of-a-kind emoji strings that may be tokenized as an NFT on the Ethereum blockchain and sold or held as a short animation on OpenSea. Users will be able to link their Yats to electronic payments, according to the business. Yats range in length from one to five characters and may be purchased for a few dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars: In mid-2021, the most expensive Yat was a single-character gold key that sold for $425,000.
A number of well-known celebrities, especially artists, have already invested in Yats for website hosting and promotion. Visit Steve Aoki’s (🎂🎵) or Lil Wayne’s (👽🎵) websites, or the iTunes listing for Questlove’s “Questlove Supreme” podcast (❓❤️) for further examples.
“It’s been north of a long time since the public presentation of the World Wide Web, and there hasn’t been a lot of advancement in the weblink space: individuals still use.com in their URLs,” said Jorgen Arnesen, chief VP of versatile at Opera, in a news articulation.
Opera becomes the first browser to eliminate the requirement to put a “y.at” prefix into the address bar, as other browsers do (a complete Yat URL looks something like this: https://y.at/). Emojis embedded in online pages now link to Yat pages, so if you see an emoji string on a website, it will take you to the appropriate Yat page (if one exists).
Yat feels that the emoticon strings it offers could assist clients with customizing their internet-based characters and increment big-name mindfulness on the web. It’s an incredible idea, and I can see how these visual URLs might tempt individuals, however the sticker prices for possessing one of these are silly. In any event, while utilizing Opera, the method involved with entering in a Yat on a PC is bulky, the actual URLs actually incorporate “https://y.at/. It’s also more difficult to remember the sequence of these emojis than it is to recall the order of ordinary words, and selecting the correct emoji (for example, Raised Back of Hand Medium Skintone) may be a guessing game.
However, I could imagine Yats being used in marketing campaigns or purchased and resold at exorbitant prices—if NFTs and crypto have taught us anything, it’s that individuals will try to profit from even the shadiest digital assets.