The first website went live more than three decades ago, and while we’ve seen a lot of changes to the web since then, one thing has remained largely constant: you get to websites either by typing a string of letters and numbers into your web browser or by clicking a bookmark or link.
But the makers of the Opera web browser say now there’s another way: you can use emoji. But you probably shouldn’t.
Opera says the new feature comes through a partnership with Yat, a company that allows users to create a custom string of emojis that can either take you to a personalized Yat website or redirect you to another page.
Up until now the way to get to those sites was to type y.at/<emoji here>, but now you can drop the letters and symbols and use only the emoji. Just open the Opera mobile or desktop browser, type a few emoji characters into the address bar, and away you go.
Is this faster, easier, or better than typing alpha-numeric characters in any way? I have no idea. I suppose it might be easier for some folks who speak emoji as if they were a native language to remember a combination of these characters than a string of letters and numbers. But mostly it just seems like yet another way Opera is trying to differentiate it from more popular browsers like Chrome, Safari, Edge, and Firefox.
It may also just be a cash grab though: Yat wants to make its emoj-URLs into NFTs and the price for claiming a Yat emoji can be rather high compared with a typical domain name fee (a typical 3-emoji URL sells for a one-time fee of $165).