It’s world emoji day!
No matter how much you love or loathe emojis you can’t deny they have become a big part of how we communicate and with increasing moves towards visual communication they are showing no sign of going out of fashion any time soon! Research for this piece even led us to a real-time emoji tracker (maybe don’t click the link if you are epileptic!) that shows you the most used emojis on Twitter (poor old cable car!)
Where did they come from…?
Emojis came to life as emoticons in the 90’s first found on Japanese phones and on messenger chats, they started life as simple combinations of symbols 😀 before becoming more complex ¯_(ツ)_/¯ until they eventually they became a standardised set, approved by Unicode (made up of Apple, Google and others) of graphics across platforms and keyboards.
Are they really a language though?
This is a matter or opinion and probably some debate! You could form entire sentences from emoji, your answers to questions could consist completely of various emojis. Apple even has a feature that once you write out a message will enable you to replace words within your message with the appropriate emoji – without scrolling through the whole keyboard.
Personally, and consensus amongst our small team is that they can be easily overused and that is a turn off. Using them to highlight a point, emphasis your tone and add humour is perfect, using them to tell people what you are doing without using any words is a no go!
So… the future…?
In celebration of world emoji day Apple has announced that it will be launching 70 new emojis with the next update these include the long awaited bald people, ginger hair and curl hair faces along with the much-needed lobster (…?). But with Emojis being potentially a universally understood language and the first language born of the digital age, there is still more diversity needed.
Alexis Ohanian, co-founder of Reddit and husband to Serena Williams along with Tinder is calling for interracial couple emojis and Apple is looking to introduce emojis that better represent people with disabilities! Also BRIS a swedish company developed a set of ‘Abused Emoji‘ with the aim of helping people who have or are suffering from various types of abuse to talk about it!
In short whilst emojis are internationally recognised and understood and we are headed towards a more diverse set that will be better able to represent society, they are still a bit of fun and not a serious method of communication! But that’s just my opinion – what do you think!?
Also just for fun – Moby Dick, the entire book has been translated into emojis! People even voted on the ‘translation’ for the final print – although a copy of it would set you back $200!! and check out with Deadpool emoji set.