We’re all pretty familiar with emojis and use them often to spice up our conversations. You can say that they help one to express thoughts and emotions in better ways than written words. For instance, instead of having to type “I am angry”, you could use an angry emoji face to express your emotion. This in fact, agrees with the saying that a picture is worth a thousand words.
How it all started
Emoji originated from Japan. Shigetaka Kurita created the first set of emojis for cellphones while working on i-mode (a mobile internet platform) for NTT Docomo – a Japanese mobile communication company. But they only gained worldwide popularity in 2012 when Apple included it in iOS 6, after which Android and other platforms adopted them. Today, emojis have become an integral part of our communication in messages and social media networks like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
What does Emoji really mean?
Well, according to the popular Oxford Dictionary, Emoji is a small digital image or icon used to express an idea or emotion in electronic communication. The term emoji is a Japanese word and it literally means “e”(picture) + “moji” (character).
Tell me more…
Emoji was standardized by Unicode in 2010 in order to make them compatible across different devices, platforms and networks. In 2013, the word Emoji was added to the Oxford Dictionary alongside other popularly used words like selfie and phablet. Merriam -Webster also added it to its vocabulary index in 2015. Emoji has grown over the recent years and is still expanding with new characters being added to the set every few years. They have become really prominent that in 2015, Oxford Dictionary chosed “Faced with Tears of Joy” emoji as its Word of the Year.
According to Instagram Engineering, the rise in the usage of emoji on Instagram has led to a corresponding decrease in the usage of internet slang. For instance, ” ” is taking the place of “lol”, “lmao”, “lmfao” and other similar slangs. This is a similar occurrence i’ve observed on other social media platforms. Industries and brands are also using emojis for marketing.
Well, what can i say? Emoji has truly become a part of our digital culture, lets enjoy the emerging way of communication.
Image credit : Getemoji
How often do you use emojis and what is your favourite emoji? Please share in the comments section below
Ukeme likes to keep things simple and believes that tech doesn’t really have to be complicated. She is also a web designer and loves to learn new things.