What I've Learned From Trying to Register πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚.io

tl;dr: Nothing too interesting. What follows is a collection of emoji related links, starting with an episode of the a16z podcast.

It started with the realization that you could bring up an emoji keyboard on any Mac by pressing βŒƒβŒ˜β£ (ctrl+cmd+space):

Next thing I know, I’m on <popular name register> trying to buy πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚, which in 2028 will be the most common combination of characters entered into VR-brainwave-contact-lens browsers, or whatever people in the future will use to read hypertext (cf. Lindy effect). According to emojitracker.com it is already the most popular emoji today.

I got quite excited when I saw that the .io top-level domain was still available. Unfortunately, one hour, two CSRs and three failed orders later I had to realize that it was a bug in the UI and that it wasn’t actually available or even purchasable.

Generally, emoji domains are possible, but only on certain top-level domains that allow it, .ws being the most popular one. While emojis are part of the UTF-8 charset, the DNS only allows a subset of ASCII. However, using a representation called β€œPunycode”, UTF-8 characters can be brought to and from that subset. For example β€œι»žηœ‹β€ becomes xn--c1yn36f. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean any valid punycode can be registered. The feature is intended to make language-specific domains possible, which emojis, well, aren’t.

Emoji URLs aren’t too useful either, as some sites don’t know how to link them correctly, a tiny site called Facebook being one one of them 😈. This means the viral traffic I was hoping to get from πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚.io for my emoji-only chat app β€” that has yet to be built β€” wasn’t going to happen anyway πŸ˜‰. Also, others have tried that before.

Anyway, the easiest way to get an emoji URL is through a site called linkmoji (http://πŸ•πŸ’©.ws) which is like bit.ly, except with emojis. For example, this blog post is reachable via http://πŸ”πŸ’πŸ”‘πŸŒ²πŸ‘πŸ’πŸ›πŸˆ.πŸ•πŸ’©.ws.


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