Panic Blog

Copywriter: Cabel.

The World’s First Emoji Domain

Ladies and gentlemen, are you comfortably running Mac OS X Lion?

Because this is our moment.

Years of technological progression, a steady flowing river of genius and fortitude, breakthrough and discovery, have sent us ever-forward, hurtling towards this. From the humble beginnings of the first wire-wrapped computer, to the rolled-up-sleeves of the hard-working women and men of The Unicode Consortium, to the dedicated Apple engineer staying late in the office to ship a major operating system update while his family sits without him at the dinner table. “Will I see Daddy tomorrow?”, his son asks, picking at his plate. “I don’t know”, is the sad, quiet reply. You see, today is built on the hard working backs of those from yesterday. And on the shoulders of those backs, we will stand tall, reaching towards tomorrow.

The release of Mac OS X Lion added an important new feature: system-wide pictograms, or, as you might call them, “Emoji”. And for the first time, these pictograms are not based on a mobile-carrier ever-shifting method of encoding via the “private” Unicode character space, but are using the officially accepted Unicode 6.0 Emoji / ISO 10646 standard.

So yes, everything we’ve worked for has led us here.

Friends, family, well-wishers: today, history is rewritten.

I give you:

The world’s first emoji domain.


Now that you’ve had a moment to recover, I’d like to give particular thanks to the country of Laos, who run the last remaining domain registrar I’m aware of that still allows international domain names that use any Unicode character. Our sincere thanks must be given to Thongsing Thammavong, the Prime Minister of Laos, for his valuable assistance in making all of this possible.

Update: I’ve just got word that, due to intense political unrest in Laos (untrue), they no longer allow Emoji domains! Yes, .la is no more. Fortunately, the territory of Tokelau (!) has stepped in to meet this intense international need! Emoji .tk domains are now available.

(Why are they so hard to register? Due to fears of IDN homograph attacks, most registrars, like .com, now only allow specific language sets to be used for Unicode domain names. The days of registering ☃.net — a previous Cabel effort in this series — are long gone. In fact, back in 2007 ICANN expressly recommended that “symbols and icons […] such as typographic and pictographic dingbats” should not be allowable code points for domain names. Fortunately, Laos didn’t get the memo.)

Now some of you might be asking, “What’s the point? How is this useful? It requires Lion, it only works in Safari, let alone on Windows. They’re impossible to type. How is this at all useful?” I understand, but you’re not really asking the right questions.

Now, I’m sure those of you who are members of the press will be eager to leave and phone your bureau as soon as possible with this discovery. Thus, I’ll bring my presentation to an end.

My friends, I’m glad you could join me on this trip into the unknown, now made known.

The internet will never be the same.

Oh, and one more thing: if you ever want to tell your friends about Transmit or Coda, just have them visit:



Posted at 11:05 am 50 Comments

Hmmm. Trying to zoom that page makes no changes to the scale. However. Something interesting happens with the drop shadow.

This is hilarious. You guys are awesome.

Can’t wait till Coda 2!

Michaël Betsch

7/21/2011 11:19 AM

The poop domains works, but not the Coda & Transmit ones… should I wait for DNS to propagate on those ?

I love you guys, but thought you should know that the Coda & Transmit emoji domains aren’t working!

Never change.

Oops, my fault! The critical Truck and Leaf will be propagating shortly.

Yeeeeahhh! Thanks for the info! I’ve just registered ☕.tk !! A single character domain that features coffee. This is more than awesome! :D

Windows User

7/21/2011 11:38 AM

…I don’t get it.

Fletcher Tomalty

7/21/2011 11:40 AM

These work in Safari, but not in Chrome.

Patrick Kontschak

7/21/2011 11:41 AM

Too bad it doesn’t work automatically in Chrome. Not sure what to change to make it visible in it though. :/

Kudos to this achievement, Panic! :D

What do you mean, it needs Lion? Works fine on iOS.

I was brought here by Daring Fireball. Apparently he thinks this is a crappy idea. I can’t figure out if you are just poking fun at domain name registration, or if you are serious?

Travis Seitler

7/21/2011 12:16 PM

The Daring Fireball post is (or had better be) tongue-in-cheek, considering he tried doing the same thing last year:

hahaha, this is so perfect! And I just got the DF pun. Yay me!

Amusingly, this works on iPad, even in “The Feed” google reader app. So iOS supports it fine too. However. Safari on windows 7 doesn’t even show the icon on your page :)

Someone must have registered every emoji because they are all unavailable now.

HISTORY JUST HAPPENED!! That made my day! It’s truly a beautiful moment…

To address the deleted comment complaining about Firefox/Windows support for certain Unicode characters, that’s primarily a failing of the fonts included with Windows, which don’t support these Unicode characters. There may be fonts in Windows 7 that do support these characters, but I’m guessing the Panic guys didn’t have a Windows machine on which to find one for stylesheet purposes. (Although I mostly suspect that no Windows 7 font supports these characters anyway, and that nothing could be done about that. Once again the Mac guys are having more fun.)

To foobar, re: “Chrome 12 on Ubuntu,” this blog uses the `text-rendering: optimizeLegibility` CSS attribute, which I’ve found can be really wonky on some browsers — and in those that support it, I haven’t noticed much benefit.

Max, if you saw a box before the .la in the url, then you won’t get the joke. Take a look at it in iOS or Lion.

Oh my god, this is HORRIBLE! I just found out about it, and Laos dropped out?!! I was going to immediately hunt for Emoji unicorns!

Rhys Powell

7/21/2011 2:24 PM

This is wonderful, I wonder whether I should register

Lewis — thanks — I did look at it in iOS, which was sort of my point.

@Patrick: lots of .tk single-character emojis are still available from the looks of it.

oh man, I’ve always wanted


7/21/2011 4:57 PM

I’d like to point out the irony that http://


7/21/2011 4:58 PM

Er… ok, comments don’t like emoji.

What I was trying to say: I’d like point out the irony that the World’s First Emoji Domain doesn’t have a favicon. :)

Natalia Ventre

7/21/2011 5:39 PM

Those domains are impossible to type and to pronounce but I ❤ the idea!

Thomas Pauly

7/21/2011 9:13 PM

Excellent. It’ll be even more excellent when there’s a Coda 2 emoji.

Goran Peuc

7/22/2011 3:09 AM


could you post an image of that URL (and the two others at the end of the post), just so I know what to look for. Trying this on Windows, so, you know, help me out a bit.

Yaniv Eidelstein

7/22/2011 3:27 AM

Is it pronounced “poopla”?

Blake Embrey

7/22/2011 5:24 AM

Wow, this is an awesome concept. But there are still to new of sites out there that don’t even support UTF8. Anyway, I think this should be available for all domain extensions, it’s our choice to register them. I just have to find one now that perfectly represents me/my name in one swift emoji ;)

I’m on Lion here and I see nothing but “[ whitespace ].la”. Do I need a specific font to be installed/enabled?

someone should do

@brando your using Chrome perhaps?

Hemendra Kumar Saini

7/23/2011 3:18 AM

That’s really interesting thought that first emoji domain is not a .com and its .la, as you said that they stopped seliing the emoji domain stuff. It is really crazy and .tk domain start cashing on this oppurtunity.

If you want to see Unicode 6.0 emoji on Windows you can install the font, Symbola, from here:

Test your browser and fonts here:

I thought I’d give this a go for the hell of it and registered

(tried posting a comment containing en emoji character, but the system cut it off…)

I thought I’d give this a go for the hell of it and registered (elephant).tk through iwantmyname, but I can’t seem to use it for anything but the built-in web forwarding feature. My host (1and1) doesn’t support the emoji domain, not does blogger, nor any of the handful of other services I’ve tried linking it to.

Does anyone know which – if any – 3rd party providers support linking an external emoji domain?


1/19/2012 11:54 AM

I too have registered a site, and have encountered the same problem as jhembach. Has anyone found a 3rd party hosting provider that will link to an external emoji domain?

Josh The Geek

1/20/2012 12:04 PM


Oh man! Someone needs to register sushi, right now!

Brian Larson

3/30/2012 7:43 AM

Sh!t dot LA is what made me laugh so hard about this fantastic nerd joke.

Just wondering, but it doesn’t look like the links are working on this page to show the emoji. I know that “.la” isn’t working, but I’m on Lion. Shouldn’t the link to it on this page show the emoji? Thanks…

Oops…please forgive my mistake. I forgot that to view it on THIS page you still need to be in Safari. I was on Chrome on my Mac. Oops.

So has McDonald’s registered the domain


Hi Panic.
After reading this blog. I decide register this lovely domain:


Sad, this blog comment system does not support emoji.
I have to post another one. ;p

After reading this blog. I decide register this lovely domain:

I really love this emoji domain.
Thx panic inspired me

Bob Jonson

8/20/2012 6:42 AM

In OS X Mountain Lion OS X Will no longer show emojis in Google Chrome, it used to in Lion

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