Web browser Opera allows web addresses with only emoji, the company announced Monday. Opera says the new partnership brings a new level of creativity to the internet. The new feature is made possible through a partnership with Yat, a startup that sells URLs with emojis in them and owns the Yat domain. Through Yat, you can make a one-time purchase and the company will provide you with your own Yat link.
Opera says the emoji-centric integration will make it easier for people to find and be redirected to Yat pages. These are unique domains that are generated when a Yat is created from a personalized set of emojis. After the integration, Yat emoji web addresses in Opera no longer need to be followed by “.y.at” as before. Emojis embedded in web pages are now automatically linked to the corresponding Yat page.
“The partnership marks a major paradigm shift in the way the Internet works,” said Jorgen Arnesen, Opera’s executive vice president of mobile, in a statement. “It’s been nearly 30 years since the world wide web was launched to the public and there hasn’t been much innovation in web links: people are still including .com in their URLs. The integration with Yat allows Opera users to dump .com or even words into their links and use only emojis to be taken to websites. It’s new, it’s easier and more fun.”
Users can edit or redirect their Yat page to another place on the web. Several celebrities are early adopters of Yat pages. For example, American DJ Steve Aokic uses his Yat page to direct people to his website, and rapper Lil WayneYat’s page takes you to his record label. Kesha has her Yat link in her Twitter bio†
Sure, users can buy their own domain name that supports emojis and use them instead of a Yat link, but Yat has made this process faster and easier for those without the time, resources, or technical expertise to do so. But this convenience comes with a price. The fewer emoji characters in a Yat, the more expensive it is.
Opera notes that with more than 90% of the 4.6 billion users worldwide using emojis to express themselves, the new partnership with Yat offers people a new way to have a presence online. It also outlines that the new collaboration unlocks improved functionality as users don’t have to type alphanumeric characters in a URL.
“Whether you’re an artist, musician, creator, business owner, or just looking to increase your following, this integration is invaluable, making it easier to connect and share content with your community through your unique array 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 such as a built-in crypto wallet, easy access to cryptocurrency/NFT exchanges, support for decentralized apps (dApps), and more. The purpose of the browser is to simplify the web3 user experience.