Pull out your phone and plaster your favourite emoji on all of your text messages. July 17 is World Emoji Day.
There are two kinds of people in this world: those who sprinkle their messages with cute and quirky emojis, and those who absolutely refuse to use them. Whether you enjoy adding the fun and colourful icons to your words or not, emojis have become an integral part of mobile messaging.
In honour of World Emoji Day, here are 17 facts about emojis:
1. Before emojis, there were emoticons — punctuation that formed smiley faces and sad faces. Emoticons were plugged into computer language in 1982.
2. Emojis first appeared in Japan in 1999 when Shigetaka Kurita, working for an internet company, created and distributed 176 graphic icons, reflections of simple human emotions.
3. When translated from Japanese to English, emoji means “picture character.”
4. Emoji enthusiasts rewrote Herman Melville’s Moby Dick entirely in emojis in 2009.
5. As texting became a prominent mode of communication, emojis grew in popularity. They gained notoriety in 2012 when iPhone released iOS 6 and users gained access to its vibrant emoji keyboard.
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6. In 2013, the word emoji was added to the Oxford English Dictionary. By 2015, it was in the Merriam-Webster dictionary.
7. Oxford Dictionary’s Word of the Year for 2015 was the ‘tears of joy emoji’. It was the first time in history the dictionary used a pictograph as its infamous ‘Word of the Year.’ It was chosen because it was the most-used emoji globally in 2015
8. Emojipedia’s Jeremy Burge launched World Emoji Day on July 17 in 2014.
9. July 17 is not a random date. It was chosen because it is the day featured on the emoji calendar on the Apple keyboard.
10. Over the last few years, many communication platforms have been pushing to diversify emojis. After some petitioning from emoji fanatics, Apple released a “ginger” emoji in 2018.
11. There are emoji trackers, real-time tools that are used to take stock of the many emojis in use on Twitter.
12. According to EmojiTracker, the most-used emoji on Twitter in 2018 was the laughing face with tears of joy. The same was true for Apple.
13. In 2018, 57 per cent of emoji users were women.
14. Only seven per cent of people use the peach emoji as a fruit, according to Emojipedia.
15. The most popular emojis on Facebook in 2018 were the laughing face with tears of joy, the smiling face with heart eyes, and the birthday cake emoji.
16. Most emojis sent on Facebook Messenger in 2018 were sent on New Year’s Eve.
17. Emojis are popular choices for tattoos. Singer Miley Cyrus has a sad cat emoji tattoo on the inside of her lower lip.