Celebrating Emojis & Their Place In Digital Society

Love them ❤️ or hate them 💔, emojis are everywhere, spreading through our texts, social media posts, and emails. They’re in our inboxes, on the big screen and even being used as evidence in courtrooms!! 😯

So, what is an emoji?

Well, it’s a tiny emotive character that adds creative communication to standard text. An emoji is a modern way of communicating emotions or meanings through a creative icon – it’s that simple.

How did these tiny pixel-sized icons show up alongside text? First introduced in 1999 by a Japanese company ‘Softbank’ who released a mobile phone with a set of 90 emojis. This is considered the first set of emojis and comparing them to today’s emojis you can imagine the difference in quality 😳. Fast forward to 2003 and Microsoft introduced their set of emojis for their computer messaging software MSM messenger version 6.0 (yes MSM messenger is that old!), however it wasn’t until 2011 when emojis really took off with Apple introducing their set of emojis to the world. Since this debut of worldwide emojis they are now everywhere, and similar technology companies are following Apple’s footsteps. I think a reason why emojis have become so popular especially within the past 10 years is because of the old phrase ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’ – emojis are a great way of communicating through creativity. Emoji’s really helps communicate a message in a fast manner.

Why use them in the digital world?

Well, as a simple answer, emojis help communicate more effectively and can easily be read/ understood. This means that emojis are a rapid way to read a message. Like anything else creative, an icon or image can immediately communicate more than a sentence of words. They also add personality to text and this personality can be communicated across every language in the world due to the versatility they have. Like any other trend many people of all ages use emojis as a fun way to communicate. Did you know that 92% of all people online use emojis, and one third of them do so daily? That’s a lot of people!

What is the future of emojis?

So, are emojis the future of communication? Well not fully. Emojis are a great way to enhance a message however if you replaced every word with an emoji things would start to get confusing/ hard to read which is the opposite of what a emoji is supposed to do, so this is where actual standard text plays a huge part within communication.

All in all, emojis are a great form of creative communication of our time and the digital world, they have become second nature to our messaging and will do for the years to come. I would personally say in the future emojis will adapt and change to fit the ever-changing digital world, right now there isn’t many boundaries to emojis, and I can see them becoming bigger and bigger (not literally). 10 years from now we will probably see moving emojis that will constantly animate, this would bring emojis to life and would fit in well as motion graphics is becoming more popular. Another theory far in the future is all words may be replaced with a creative emoji or a new type of icon, which would be a boost for the creative industry as let’s face it the creative world is always evolving and growing!

By Ryan Ford

By Ore Ige

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