Emoji are here to stay although many think of them as a fad, especially when regarding emoji domains.
Although not available for registration in top-level-domain extensions (TLDs) due to IDNA2008, emoji domains have found a blossoming home with a growing number of country-code TLDs.
With over 21,000 .ws emoji domain registrations and growing daily, a number of other ccTLDs are opening up their doors to warmly receive emoji domains.
Achieving nearly 75% of single .to emoji domains registered in two days, I wondered whether or not other ccTLDs would toy with the idea or give strong consideration to allowing emoji domains.
After all, what ccTLD wouldn’t give serious consideration to possibly realizing a strong 5-6 figure revenue generation from a domain niche that’s heating up?
It’s been almost two months since since .to emoji domain registrations burst onto the scene.
I stumbled upon comments (per Namepros.com member HotKey) and the following image alluding to emoji domains finding a home with the ccTLD associated with “artificial intelligence”: .ai.
The comments very much read like a growing number of folks are silently pioneering and mining ccTLDs for emoji domain registrations.
And based on the thread and image above, .ai is ripe to be the next ccTLD and domain extension for emoji domains to catch fire.
Is the .ai extension really short for “artificial intelligence?
For those thinking .ai really stands for “artificial intelligence”, .ai is actually the country code for Anguilla, a British Overseas Territory in the Caribbean.
And .ai has experienced quite a bit of domain registration action over the last two years and counting. .ai has exploded with domain registrations due to artificial intelligence being a high growth market with new companies launch at a blinding rate of speed.
So, I guess we’ll see in the coming days, weeks, and months whether or not emoji domains catch fire like .ws and .to extensions.
Where can .ai emoji domains be registered?
Currently, there are many single .ai emoji domains available for registration.
Do note that registering .ai emoji domains, including general .ai domains, are quite costly in comparison to GoDaddy’s $4.99 .ws emoji pricing (~$22 renewal rate) and on par with Register.to’s $45 annual pricing.
Per the Whois.ai website FAQs, .ai requires a $100 account setup fee and two-year minimum registration at $100 for each domain registration.
In addition, it’s worth noting with Hurricanes Irma and Maria recently impacting Anguilla, registering and managing .ai domains, which is currently a one-man show of manual registration and management, are likely to experience quite a bit of additional delay since infrastructure was decimated.
Is .ai ripe for emoji domain registrations?
Truth be told, only time will tell whether or not .ai emoji domain registrations, sales, and use catch up to that of .ws, .to and other active ccTLDs allowing emoji domain registrations.
I’ve not purchased a single .ai domain of any kind, although I know a with great certainty that .ai emoji domains are being registered at this very moment I’m writing.
In fact, since starting, completing and editing this very article, two .ai emoji domains I spot checked prior to starting have been registered.
In general, .ai domains are a hot domain niche ripe for action, but I’m currently not convinced that .ai emoji domains will catch fire or use.
However, I could very well be wrong with this assumption. But time will tell and judge .ai emoji domains accordingly.