Emoji domain

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An emoji domain is a domain name with one or more emoji in it, for example 😉.tld.

Function[edit]

With the exception of the information emoji (), the trademark emoji (™️) and the "m" emoji (Ⓜ️),[citation needed] for an emoji to work as a domain name, it must be converted into so-called "Punycode". Punycode is a character encoding method used for internationalized domain names (IDNs). This representation is used when registering domains containing special characters. The ASCII representation starts with the prefix "xn--" and is followed by the emoji-containing domain name encoded as Punycode, for example "xn--i-7iq" is "i❤" when converted back to Unicode.

Each emoji has a unique Punycode representation. For example, "😉" in an IDN is represented as "xn--n28h". There are several generators on the Internet that allow one to convert emoji to Punycode and back.[1][2]

Availability and registration[edit]

As of April 2022, there are 11 top-level domains for which emoji domain registration is possible: .cf,[3] .fm,[4] .ga,[3] .gq,[3] .kz, .ml,[3] .st, .tk,[3] .to,[5] .uz, and .ws;[6] as well as 14 second-level domains: .radio.am,[7] .radio.fm,[7] .co.il, .org.il, .com.kz, .org.kz, .biz.ua,[8] .co.ua,[9] .pp.ua,[10] .co.uz, .com.uz, .com.ws,[6] .net.ws,[6] and .org.ws.[6]

The registration of an emoji domain can be more difficult than with normal domain names using only ASCII characters, since it is sometimes not possible to enter emoji into the online registration forms of domain name registrars, and instead the Punycode representation must be entered.

The availability of an emoji domain can be verified by using an emoji domain search engine[11] or by checking the WHOIS data of the punycoded domain.

History[edit]

At least four emoji domains were created on April 19, 2001:☻.com (xn--84h.com),[12] ♨️.com (xn--j6h.com), ♨️.net (xn--j6h.net), and ☮️.com (xn--v4h.com).[13] In 2005, ♌️.com (xn--q5h.com) was registered.[14] Cabel Sasser of Panic created 💩.la (xn--ls8h.la), "The World's First Emoji Domain", on April 13, 2011.[15] In February 2015, Coca-Cola used a domain name containing a smiley emoji in an advertising campaign aimed at mobile users in Puerto Rico.[16] A 2018 survey of the .ws TLD recorded approximately 25,000 registered emoji domains.[17]

On June 26, 2020, an online collective called It Is What It Is employed the 👁️👄👁️.fm (xn--mp8hai.fm) emoji domain to raise money for various social justice causes.[18] The viral campaign, which relied on people's fear of missing out, caused thousands of Twitter users to post both the emoji domain and the phrase "It Is What It Is" in hopes of getting access to a rumored exclusive social network.[19][unreliable source?] In the end, It Is What It Is turned out to be a hoax designed to redirect attention to social issues; it ultimately raised over $200,000 and was featured in Wired,[20] Forbes,[19] Business Insider,[21] The Verge,[22] and Gizmodo,[23] among other publications.[24]

Issues[edit]

Support among domain name registrars for emoji domains is limited.[25]

It has been speculated that emoji domains, especially on mobile devices, may be used to lure victims into phishing scams.[26]

Another problem is that emojis can look different depending on the operating system, applications, and fonts used.[27] Not all browsers support emoji domains. On Google Chrome and Firefox, emoji display as Punycode in the address bar. In Safari, on the other hand, emoji are visible in the address bar. Emoji domains are also visible in Google and Bing search results.[28]

There are also issues with using emoji domains in social media. While they are well supported on Twitter and LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram have imposed serious restrictions. Support varies on messaging platforms.[29]

At present, only Punycode encoding is advised in e-mail addresses[citation needed], e.g. "mail@xn--n28h.tld", as many MTAs and MUAs don't support SMTPUTF8[30] which would allow SMTP commands with non-ASCII characters.

Emoji subdomains[edit]

Emoji subdomains are like normal subdomains, except that they begin with emoji. Emoji subdomains are possible with many popular TLDs, including .com. As with any other emoji domain, emoji subdomains have to be converted into Punycode and can then be used as regular subdomains. Thus, domain combinations like 👍.example.org (xn--yp8h.example.org) are possible. This allows a wide scope of emoji domains outside of ccTLDs.[citation needed]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Punycode converter". Punycoder. Archived from the original on 11 September 2017. Retrieved 31 August 2017.
  2. ^ "Punycode Converter". Charset.org. Archived from the original on 2 September 2017. Retrieved 31 August 2017.
  3. ^ a b c d e "Freenom, a name for everyone, FAQ #6". freenom.com. Archived from the original on 2021-11-19. Retrieved 2021-12-10.
  4. ^ "dotFM - The .FM Top-Level Domain Registry, Emoji Domains". dot.fm. Archived from the original on 2021-12-09. Retrieved 2021-12-10.
  5. ^ "Tonic, FAQ #20". tonic.to. Archived from the original on 2021-12-10. Retrieved 2021-12-10.
  6. ^ a b c d "Emoji Domains". .WS Internationalized Domain Names. Archived from the original on 26 April 2018. Retrieved 1 April 2022.
  7. ^ a b "Emoji dotRADIO am/fm". radio.fm. Archived from the original on 2021-07-17. Retrieved 2022-04-23.
  8. ^ "Domain .BIZ.UA registration". nic.ua. Archived from the original on 2021-12-12. Retrieved 2021-12-12.
  9. ^ "Domain .CO.UA registration". nic.ua. Archived from the original on 2021-12-12. Retrieved 2021-12-12.
  10. ^ "Domain .PP.UA registration". nic.ua. Archived from the original on 2021-12-10. Retrieved 2021-12-12.
  11. ^ "Emoji Domain Registration". i❤️.ws 🔍. Archived from the original on 2020-06-22. Retrieved 2020-06-27.
  12. ^ "Whois Lookup Captcha". whois.domaintools.com. Archived from the original on 2022-04-15. Retrieved 2022-04-15.
  13. ^ Cyger, Michael (7 April 2017). "The Definitive Guide to Emoji Domains". Dnacademy. dnacademy.com. Archived from the original on 2 September 2017. Retrieved 31 August 2017.
  14. ^ "♌.com WHOIS, DNS, & Domain Info - DomainTools". Archived from the original on 2022-01-30. Retrieved 2022-01-30.
  15. ^ "The World's First Emoji Domain". Panic Blog. Panic. Archived from the original on 2 September 2017. Retrieved 31 August 2017.
  16. ^ Nudd, Tim (19 February 2015). "Coke Spreads Happiness Online With Emoji Web Addresses". AdWeek. Archived from the original on 3 September 2017. Retrieved 2 September 2017.
  17. ^ Johnson, Paddy (2 February 2018). "Emoji Domains Are the Future (Maybe)". Gizmodo. Archived from the original on 4 March 2018. Retrieved 4 March 2018.
  18. ^ Smith, Adam (26 June 2020). "Why Everyone Is Talking About a Strange Face Emoji". Independent.co.uk. Archived from the original on 27 June 2020. Retrieved 27 June 2020.
  19. ^ a b Armstrong, Paul (26 June 2020). "What Is 👁️👄👁️? Oh, It Is What It Is". Forbes. Archived from the original on 27 June 2020. Retrieved 27 June 2020.
  20. ^ Pardes, Arielle. "The 'Eye Mouth Eye' Debacle Sums up Tech's Race Issues". Wired. Archived from the original on 2021-08-01. Retrieved 2022-03-22.
  21. ^ "A group of young techies is behind '👁👄👁,' a mysterious meme that succeeded in getting Tech Twitter to donate to Black Lives Matter charities and clamor for invites to an app that doesn't exist". Business Insider. Archived from the original on 2022-03-22. Retrieved 2022-03-22.
  22. ^ "It is What It is: A fake app hyped on Twitter turned into a fundraiser for racial justice causes". 27 June 2020. Archived from the original on 22 March 2022. Retrieved 22 March 2022.
  23. ^ "This Group Got Tech Twitter Hyped on an App That Doesn't Exist to Raise Money for BLM Charities". Archived from the original on 2022-03-22. Retrieved 2022-03-22.
  24. ^ "What It Really is". It Is What It Is. Archived from the original on 27 June 2020. Retrieved 27 June 2020.
  25. ^ Dewey, Caitlin (23 February 2015). "The surprisingly complex reason you never see emoji URLs". Washington Post. Archived from the original on 29 September 2017. Retrieved 24 September 2017.
  26. ^ Vining, Olivia (12 October 2018). "Threat Announcement: Phishing Sites Detected on Emoji Domains". PhishLabs. PhishLabs. Archived from the original on 1 November 2019. Retrieved 1 November 2019.
  27. ^ ICANN Security and Stability Advisory Committee (25 May 2017). "SAC095: SSAC Advisory on the Use of Emoji in Domain Names" (PDF). ICANN. ICANN. Archived (PDF) from the original on 1 July 2017. Retrieved 31 August 2017.
  28. ^ "Emoji domains and SEO". Medium. Domain Research Group. 15 September 2017. Archived from the original on 25 September 2017. Retrieved 24 September 2017.
  29. ^ Harrison, John. "How to use emoji domains on social". ART + Marketing. Archived from the original on 10 May 2022. Retrieved 2 September 2017.
  30. ^ "RFC 6531 - SMTP Extension for Internationalized Email". Archived from the original on 2015-02-18. Retrieved 2020-01-10.