When starting a business or a project, you need to find a domain to use for your website. Usually this is your business name, your name, or an otherwise relevant name with a traditional top-level domain extension (TLD) like .com, .org, or .net. However, one interesting alternative to "normal" domain names are emoji domains. These domains let users access a website by typing emoji like 🤷, 🤔, and 👍 instead of normal keyboard characters.
Emoji Domain and Campaign Examples
Here are some companies that use or have used emoji domains:
Coca-Cola | 😀.ws
In 2015 Coca-Cola Puerto Rico registered some smile-related emoji domains to direct traffic to emoticoke.com. The company promoted domains like 😀.ws or 😂.ws which sent users to the campaign website.
Western Samoa's country code top-level domain (ccTLD) supports emoji domains, so Coca-Cola told consumers that .ws could stand for "we smile" during the happiness campaign. Traffic to their site increased and the Coke marketing team considered the campaign a success.
Norwegian Airlines | ✈🎰💸.ws
Norwegian Airlines devised a creative campaign using emojis to promote flights from Denmark to Las Vegas in 2015. The URL contains an airplane emoji, a slot machine emoji, and a money emoji (fitting for gambling in Las Vegas): ✈🎰💸.ws.
The company worked with eight influencers to share the URL via an Instagram photo at the same time. Mobile users had to then open their browser and type the emoji URL to visit the website. Over 11,000 individuals visited the site, campaign sales increased, and Norwegian Airlines attracted significant media attention due to the uniqueness of the campaign.
Phoenix Rising FC | 🔥.ws
The Phoenix Rising of the United Soccer League leases the fire emoji domain (🔥.ws) which is a perfect fit since their logo contains a flaming phoenix. The team has used the domain in some social media posts with a seemingly positive response.
There are many more companies and individuals which own emoji domains. Most companies seem to own an emoji domain related to their business and forward that traffic to their primary website. Some examples include:
Selecting An Emoji Domain
If you decide that you want an emoji domain, you need to choose which emoji are appropriate for you or your business. While you may not be able to find a one character emoji domain, you may be able to use 2-3 emoji to make the URL you want. You can combine multiple emoji together like Sony (😊🎬.ws), repeat one emoji multiple times like Budweiser (🍺🍺🍺.ws), or combine text and emoji. Make sure to research the meanings of emoji and their combinations (Emojipedia) before making your decision.
How To Get Your Emoji Domain
Purchasing and using an emoji domain is like purchasing and using a "regular" domain. All you need to know is which TLDs support emoji and what the punycode for your desired emoji is. For example, the domain you want is ⚾.ws then the punycode is actually xn--z8h.ws. You can figure out the punycode through a site like i❤️.ws and then purchase from a supporting registrar. After this, you manage the domain name as you would any other.
Do Your Research First
If you're interested in using an emoji domain, make sure to first do your own research. Learn how these domains work and decide whether one would be a good fit for you, your business, or your project. ICANN, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, recommends:
not allowing the use of emoji in TLDs, and discourages their use in a domain name in any of its labels. The SSAC also advises registrants of domain names with emoji that such domains may not function consistently or may not be universally accessible.
Again, do your research and understand that confusion is possible with emoji domains. Here are some additional resources:
- A Brief Primer to Emoji Domains
- The Definitive Guide To Emoji Domains 🚀
- A Digital Marketer’s Guide to the Power of Emoji Domains: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3
Emoji domains offer an interesting way to access a website. Some people think emoji domain ought to be used more often and better supported. Others feel that they are more of a novelty. Either way, do your research and if you're looking for a short, unique domain name for a mobile or social-focused reason, an emoji domain might be an option for you.
Cover Photo Credit: iabzd