Today is world emoji day! We are going to explore the history of emojis and how you can use them to your advantage as you incorporate them into your content strategy. Read on if you want to find out more! 😉

What is an Emoji?

According to the Oxford Languages Dictionary, emojis are “small digital images used to express an idea or emotion.” Mainly used when texting, emojis are now considered their own language in the digital world. 

History of Emojis

The first emoji was said to be created in 1999 by a Japanese artist named Shigetaka Kurita, who worked on an early mobile internet platform. Kurita wanted to convey information simply and attractively. In doing so, he created the original 176 emojis, full of tiny pictures indicating different meanings for each. 

Companies such as Apple and Google saw the opportunity to use these popular emoticons on their platforms, such as text messaging. Google took the lead in arguing that emojis should be acknowledged by the Unicode Consortium, which is an encoding system that let different languages appear in an accurate format throughout messaging platforms.

Apple proposed 625 new emoticons to Unicode in 2009. It was accepted in 2010, setting the evolution of emojis to be accessible everywhere. From there, emojis became internationally known as a universal language. 

As languages and diversity among cultures grew, so did emojis and in 2014, the “emoji politicization” began. Some people did not feel they were accepted by the emoji culture, seeing it was limited at the time. Unicode added more emoticons in 2015 to serve those who felt unrepresented.

To this day, the collection of emojis keeps expanding and is used around the world now to communicate visually and convey emotions!

How to Use it in Your Content Strategy

The key to using emojis in your content is to understand their meaning. Using emojis can help you express something using fewer or no words. 

Surveys conducted by digital marketers indicate that 60% of consumers online will most likely purchase something from your brand if emoticons are utilized. Using emoticons in messages or shoutouts will attract consumers to engage in your brand. 

Example of one of our social media posts

This does not mean that you should be spamming emojis everywhere. The emoticon strategy only works when the emojis are relevant to your brand. For example, if you are talking about music or a shop you recently went to, you can add emoticons such as music notes, a vinyl, a microphone, and the list goes on and on. As long as the emojis make sense with your content, viewers will turn their heads and pay more attention. 

Now, use all this information to your advantage and have an emoji-full day!

Fun Facts

  • According to Emojipedia, there are currently 3,633 emojis as of September 2021. This does not include the new sets of emojis being released in the fall of 2022. 
  • Over 4.54 billion people in the world are actively using emojis. That’s almost half of the people in this world!
  • The Unicode Consortium states that the laugh-cry 😂 emoji is the most used in the world, while the crying-loudly 😭 emoji is a close second.
  • Emoticons are the fastest-growing language in the world! LOL, that’s so cool!
  • Some people believe the hieroglyphics from the Egyptian culture can be considered the first emoji form. There is evidence, however, that DOCOMO, the company Shigetaka Kurita was working at released emoji characters in 1997.
  • July 17th is known as World Emoji Day! 🤪
  • Over 34 million emojis are sent per second from messaging platforms from all over the world.

Header photo by Domingo Alvarez E on Unsplash

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