Like many digital marketers and card-carrying millennials, emojis have become a part of my daily life. No one is more excited than me about the rumblings of new emojis–more ethnic diversity in emojis, more food variations in emojis (what up, taco emoji?), etc. If the Unicode Consortium (the non-profit responsible for deciding what emojis we get. It’s a real thing.) is ever accepting new members, sign me up.
So when the San Diego Chargers tweeted the following on St. Patrick’s Day, I knew I had to figure out how I, too, could own an emoji domain. You know, for the sake of digital marketers everywhere:
— San Diego Chargers (@Chargers) March 17, 2015
In my research, I came across a brief history of the emoji domain. Apparently emoji domains have been around since 2011. But in February, Coca Cola popularized their use when they launched a campaign in Puerto Rico using the happiest emojis it could find (thank goodness for me Coke overlooked happiness in sports, because I managed to snag some clutch domains of my own). You can read all about Coca Cola here.
From my research and testing, emoji domains only work in Safari on iPhones. So at least for the time being, don’t hang your 🎩 on an Emoji domain being the only place you live online.
But, without further ado, here are the two simple steps for your own emoji domain name.
1) Using your iPhone, visit a website like Punycoder that will convert your emoji of choice into a text string. The process will look a little like this (sorry, I already own the 🏈 domain). If you want to string multiple emojis together, put them all in the “text” box at once (no spaces) before converting.
2) You are going to use that text string (the “Punycode”) as the name you register your domain under. I’ve found that only .ws and .tk will allow Emoji domains. Here is where you can register each:
- WS – costs $70 for a 2-year registration
- TK – FREE. 😍 (I’ve read some less than flattering things about .tk domains. They appear to be often used for phishing scams. You do what you’re comfortable with. I’m not responsible if anything happens to you!)
When registering, you need to use the text code generated. In the case above, xn-5l8h.
You’ll need to have your own web hosting or a website to forward to (or even just your Twitter handle or LinkedIn page). I personally used forwarding for my .tk domain names. It appears they iFrame the page it is forwarding to, which makes my mobile response website design a little less responsive. That’s something I plan to fix in the future and you should too if using this for professional purposes. For now, I’m just having fun.
What do you think? Will you be using emoji domains?