World Emoji Day 2019: 5 things you need to know about emojis
World Emoji Day takes place every year on July 17. Here, we look at how emojis came into being, its changing trends and which emojis are the most popular.
Emojis have become an integral part of our conversations. In fact, emojis come to help when we're at a loss for words or we're simply too lazy to type. There's an emoji for almost every feeling now. Over the past years, emojis have evolved from expressing just the basic human feelings to so much more.
As we celebrate World Emoji Day 2019 we take a look at some important things to know about emojis. Starting with the history of emojis, how emojis are selected, what was significant about emojis and which emojis were the most used.
History of emojis
The oldest 'mainstream' usage of emojis would be in Yahoo Messenger. Emojis later became widely available after it made it to mobile operating systems in 2010. But emojis have its history dating all the way back to 1998 when it was created by Shigetaka Kurita, an engineer working at Japanese mobile operator, NTT Docomo.
How are emojis approved?
The Unicode Consortium approves and publishes a list of emojis every year. Once these emojis are published, mobile operating systems like Android and iOS introduce it on their platforms. The Unicode Consortium has members who submit and vote on the emojis that will be official. Some of these members include Netflix, Apple, Facebook, Google, Tinder and Twitter.
Emojis cultural symbolism
The highlight of emojis released this year is inclusivity. Emoji 12.0 features gender neutral emojis and more skin tones for users. The new emoji list also has representation for accessibility like mechanical arm and leg, ear with hearing aid, deaf person, and person with probing cane. Google announced it will introduce these gender neutral emojis with Android Q later this year. Tinder also made interracial couple emojis happen through an online petition.
Google has committed to using these neutral code points for gender inclusive emojis in 2019. The result will be an emoji keyboard where each person is yellow & gender inclusive by default, with options to specify a gender or skin tone by press-and-hold https://t.co/a23PqSTCU5 pic.twitter.com/s8UwKOrA4m— Emojipedia 📙 (@Emojipedia) July 5, 2019
Most used emojis
Emojitracker, an online portal which tracks emojis used on Twitter shows the 'tears of joy' emoji topping the list. In fact, a report by Bobble AI stated that this emoji and 'blowing a kiss' are the most used emojis in India. On World Emoji Day last year, Facebook revealed that the heart <3 emoji was used the most on its platform. For Twitter it was the tears of joy emoji which is also known as 'crying while launching' emoji.
Emojis can be pretty confusing. Possibly the most confusing emoji would be the folded hands which emoji which is used to symbolise praying or high-five. If you've ever wondered what certain emojis stand for you can find its meaning by simply copying and pasting the emoji on Google Search. At the same time you can also head to Emojipedia to find out the meaning of different emojis.