The big picture: Opera has become the first web browser to support emoji-only based web addresses in a move it claims will "bring a new level of creativity to the Internet." The whole idea may seem silly, and it could very well sputter out before it ever gets off the ground, but it does have some merit on paper.
The browser maker is partnering with Yat Labs on the initiative. Launched in February 2021, Yats are a "self-sovereign identity solution based on emojis." The collaboration will allow Opera users to navigate the web simply by entering in a string of emojis into the address bar rather than letters and/or numbers.
The duo claim the integration is equally about functionality as it is expression, and they might not be wrong.
Traditional URLs, especially short ones that are easy to remember, are becoming increasingly more valuable and thus harder to obtain. We've added more extensions over time to cope with the issue but how long will that last?
Emojis, meanwhile, are more popular than ever. According to Brandwatch Analytics, over 10 billion emojis are sent each day and 95 percent of Internet users have sent an emoji at least once. Is it time for emojis to have an even bigger role on the web?
Think of how many people scooped up domain names in the early days of the Internet and rode off into the sunset with a fortune once demand for addresses materialized. Does the same sort of potential exist here?
Probably not, but who ever thought crypto or NFTs would be a thing, either?