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 🗿, website URL 💻, payment address 🤑, 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 🔑 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 http://www.apple.com 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 https://y.at/🍎 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 ✏️📖🐯🐶, or https://y.at/✏️📖🐯🐶 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 ✏️📖🐯🐶 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 enter https://y.at/✏️📖🐯🐶 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.