Last month, Opera, the company behind the Opera web browser, announced a unique partnership with Yat Labs. Anyone who uses the Opera web browser can start using Yats to navigate to a website. So, what exactly is a Yat? Well, it’s not quite a yacht, and it’s definitely not a yeti. According to Yat Labs’s website, “Yats are emoji usernames that become your universal Internet identity πŸ—Ώ, website URL πŸ’», payment address πŸ€‘, and more.” Anyone can purchase a Yat, which consists of one to five emoji, on Yat Labs’s website, and the price is based on something called a rhythm score. The more rare a Yat, the more expensive. Yats that consist of one or two emoji are sold on an auction with the πŸ”‘ emoji fetching a whopping $425,000.

The partnership between Opera and Yat Labs allows users who use the Opera web browser to enter emoji, instead of a website address, to navigate to a website. For example, if Apple purchased the 🍎 emoji on Yat Labs, Opera users could enter that emoji in the URL field instead of to go to Apple’s website. As this article points out, you aren’t exactly purchasing emoji. You’re purchasing a fancy URL shortener, which would look more like🍎 in our example. Furthermore, the same article points out that there is no guarantee that you would own the Yat forever; also, there is nothing stopping another company from using a different domain to sell their own fancy emoji-URL shorteners.

I was intrigued, well, mostly bored, so I purchased βœοΈπŸ“–πŸ―πŸΆ, orβœοΈπŸ“–πŸ―πŸΆ to be more exact, from Yat Labs. Fortunately, I didn’t break the bank with my purchase, which was about the price of a cup of coffee. At first, I activated a Yat page with a link tree, but I decided to forward my Yat to an existing website, so anyone who enters βœοΈπŸ“–πŸ―πŸΆ in the Opera web browser will be automatically forwarded to a page that serves as an index of short stories I have written. Unfortunately, you’ll have to enterβœοΈπŸ“–πŸ―πŸΆ in non-Opera web browsers. Additionally, I used a tool on Yat Labs’s website to create a visual representation, which you can see below, of my Yat.

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