The design for the first set of emojis (Japanese for: e=image and moji=character) was originally created by the Japanese designer Shigetaka Kurita and was created in 1999. In Japan, the emojis have been popular for years before we just sent one here. Kurita’s set can only be used on devices that support the Japanese characters. And they are mainly Japanese.
The fact that it took until 2010 before Unicode, the consortium that digitizes our language by assigning codes to it, encodes emoji for universal computing is mainly due to the Western world’s focus on itself and economic interests. Only when Japan had grown into an interesting market around 2010 did the big tech companies start to find it interesting. Kurita’s original emojis were still widely us there, but programs like Gmail couldn’t display them.
Kurita’s basic set
Unicode therefore provid Kurita’s basic set of 180 emojis with unicodes so that they could be added to the keyboards of smartphones and computers worldwide. This is also the reason that in the early days the emoji set mainly contains elements from Japanese culture, such as a bowl of noodles, sushi and Japanese characters. Another important lesson from this brief history: Not only is the consortium digitizing language, including the imagery emoji, it also controls which emojis appear on our keyboards and which don’t. So it’s up for discussion, which I’ll come back to later. By the way, if you’re interest in more fun facts about the origin of emojis, you can read them here .
One thing is certain, we are sending more and more emojis worldwide. The use is increasing every year. Just like the amount of emojis we can choose from and the domains we use emojis on. In the past this was mainly reserv for informal communication, in recent years you HR Directors Email Lists have also seen emojis in business communication and (content) marketing. The number of emojis you can choose from is now 3633.
Social media, originally platforms that were pre-eminently intend for informal communication, have certainly been a catalyst for this. It’s fun, and logical given the different target groups, to see how the use of emojis differs per platform. On Twitter, (‘tears of joy’ emoji) is the most popular, on Instagram the heart and on Faceboo (smiling face with hearts eyes) and, thanks to the birthday reminders, also the (birthday cake) score high.
Since its inception, Emojipedia annually surveys which emojis are most us on Twitter. The use is still growing just as fast.
Star of the visual language
What determines the success of the emoji as a visual language? Several factors, of course. For example, worldwide smartphone ownership and the accessibility of our smartphones and computers to emojis certainly contribute to this. The emoji also fits with the new ways of communicating via smartphones and other keyboards. Lilian Stolk describes how studies confirm that the content exchange in Whatsapp messages often