Today is World Emoji Day. Yes, a whole day is dedicated to emojis for the sole purpose of promoting the use of emojis and spreading the enjoyment that they bring to everyone.
It was first created by Shigetaka Kurita in 1999 and exists in various genres, including facial expressions, common objects, places and types of weather, and animals. Since then, the emoji has become a huge part of everyday communication. It seems flying dollar bills, applauding hands, Yaaas Queen and rolling eyes are here to stay.
According to Oxford Dictionaries, the term emoji is a loanword from Japanese, and comes from e ‘picture’ + moji ‘letter, character’.
The similarity to the English word emoticon has helped its memorability and rise in use, though the resemblance is actually entirely coincidental: emoticon (a facial expression composed of keyboard characters, such as ;), rather than a stylized image) comes from the English words emotion and icon.
According to IT-Online, more than 2 600 unique emojis are available to express what users feel…but it looks like there will be more. In celebration of World Emoji Day, Apple previewed its newest up-and-coming emojis.
It looks like more than 70 new emoji characters are coming to iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch and Mac later this year in a free software update. The new emoji designs include even more hair options to better represent people with red hair, gray hair and curly hair, a new emoji for bald people, and new smiley faces that bring more expression to Messages with a cold face, party face, pleading face and a face with hearts.
Many additional characters across sports, symbols and more, will launch later this year, including a new superhero emoji, a softball, Nazar amulet and infinity symbol.
The most popular emoji used is apparently the “Person Shrugging” emoji.
Emojipedia went a bit further for today and studied the most commonly used emojis in tweets mentioning #WorldEmojiDay. Their results showed that 56% of tweets with the #WorldEmojiDay hashtag include one or more emojis. For reference, the percent of tweets including emojis is usually less than 20%, for a typical hashtag.
Here are the results:
In 2015, for the first time ever, the Oxford Dictionaries’ Word of the Year was a pictograph. The pictograph in question was officially called the ‘Face with Tears of Joy’ emoji:
There were reportedly other strong contenders from a range of fields, but the ‘Face with Tears of Joy’ emoji was chosen as the ‘word’ that best reflected the ethos, mood, and preoccupations of 2015.
Data engineer Fred Benenson translated the classic in his re-imagined translation, “Emoji Dick.” The US Library of Congress also decided to add the work to its collections.