Emoji History: How A Simple Idea Turned Into A Global Language

Who would have thought that a simple idea would turn into a global language?

What is an emoji?

An emoji is a small digital image or icon used to express an idea or emotion in electronic communications. Originally used in Japanese mobile phone culture, emoji have spread globally and are now used in a variety of contexts.

Who created the first emoji?

The first emoji was created in 1998 by Japanese artist Shigetaka Kurita. He was working on a team that was developing a new messaging system for the NTT DoCoMo mobile phone network in Japan. At the time, there was a pressing need for a way to communicate more effectively on the small screens of mobile phones.

Kurita took inspiration from Chinese characters and Japanese manga, as well as street signs and weather symbols. He designed 182 symbols, which were eventually released as part of the messaging system in 1999.

How popular are emoji now?

Emoji have been around for years, but they've only recently become mainstream. In 2015, the Oxford Dictionaries named the "face with tears of joy" emoji the Word of the Year. Emoji are now used in everyday communication, from text messages to social media posts.

But just how popular are emoji now? A recent study found that over 90% of people aged 18-34 use emoji regularly. And it's not just millennials who are using emoji - people of all ages are using them more and more. Emoji are even being used in business communication, with some companies creating their own custom emoji to use in internal communications.

There's no doubt about it, emoji are here to stay. And as they become more and more popular, we'll likely see even more ways they're used in communication.

So, what emoji should I be using?

There is no definitive answer to this question. It depends on the context of the message and the recipient's preferences. However, some emoji are more universally accepted than others. For example, the ๐Ÿ˜ƒ emoji is generally seen as positive and friendly. If you're unsure which emoji to use, it's always a good idea to look up the meaning of the emoji before sending it.