Opera is Bringing Emojis to the Address Bar

Posted on February 14, 2022 by Paul Thurrott in Web browsers with 11 Comments

Opera announced today that its web browser is the first to support emoji-based web addresses, bringing a new level of creativity to the Internet.

“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,” Opera executive vice president Jorgen Arnesen writes. “Through the integration with Yat, Opera users are able to ditch .com or even words in their links and use emojis to be directed to websites. It’s new, it’s easier and more fun.”

Yat currently lets users create unique strings of emojis as personal identifiers online, and through its partnership with Opera, you can now easily find Yat pages, which are unique domains that are generated when a Yat is created from a personalized string of emojis. For example, Lil Wayne’s Yat page (??) directs users to his record label, while Kesha’s (???) points to her Twitter presence.

“With over 90 percent of the 4.6 billion internet users around the globe using emojis to express themselves, Opera’s integration of Yats unlocks a new easy way for people to be present on the web,” Arnesen explains. “The integration is equally about functionality as it is expression. Instead of typing in numerous alphanumeric characters into a URL, Opera users get the ability to express themselves on the web.”

And, yes, I checked. It’s Valentine’s Day, not April Fools Day.

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Comments (11)

11 responses to “Opera is Bringing Emojis to the Address Bar”

  1. jdjan

    Looks like we're headed back to hieroglyphics. The ancient Egyptians had it right 5,000 years ago.

    • sykeward

      Well, our hieroglyphics are 3D so we can say that humanity has gone through at least some advancement since our time in the cradle of civilization *glances at updated Win11 emojis* ...oh.

  2. bluvg

    "use emojis to be directed to websites"

    And we thought homoglyph attacks were bad with only alphanumeric characters....

    • proftheory

      I see this as adding fuel to the fire of drive-by exploits.

      Will users be able to turn that feature off?

  3. rm

    Do all devices have the same set of emojis?

    • SvenJ

      Essentially, yes. What a digital word means is standardized. The actual picture that is displayed may be different across platforms. That is a gun is a gun, but one may picture a six shooter where another is a squirt gun. Not every platform will support every emoji though.

  4. SvenJ

    "Instead of typing in numerous alphanumeric characters into a URL," My keyboard is chock full of alphanumeric characters.

  5. IanYates82


    Firstly, I hate this idea....

    I don't think it's using punycode though - more like that Yat site is a place where you can (presumably) pay money to reserve some emoji combination as an alias for a real DNS domain name (or url). So it's just a new tinyurl or bitly with super-limited support.

    Can't see Google or Apple ever supporting this as they'd cede control to a third party.

    Does that third party let these registrations expire without payment? Can we use a tool to resolve the emojis to the url without visiting? (interesting debate given the qr code during the nfl - are our devices good enough to allow visiting of random unknown urls?)

    I'm also glad it's not punycode. That has a whole lot of other issues. Embedding characters in the url to render as Unicode was a phishing website's wildest dream - that ąpple.com link (picking a slightly better Unicode 'a' alternative than what I could get from SwiftKey) is hard to pick from the real one.

  6. sykeward

    "Find me at AOL keyword hand_with_extended_middle_finger + unamused_face !"

  7. sammyd710730

    Me: "What do you mean you can't access my site? It's happy face, unicorn, pizza slice!"

    Other Person: "Ohhh... I went to sad face, unicorn, pizza slice."