A picture is worth a thousand words, an emoji nko?

         “The use of Emoji is most definitely changing the way we communicate virtually” –Travis Montague (CEO of Emoji)

It has come to stay and has taken over the texting trend, with it’s funny, witty smileys & characters that aids how we express our feelings and mood.

This Digital trend of picture characters in text has become quite popular, but not everyone is actually a fan.

The roots of smiley faces and emoticons dates back to the 1880s, but the story of the Emoji, those little pictorial icons on your cellphones, began in Japan in the mid-1990s, when it was added as a special feature to a brand of pagers popular with teenagers.

Shigetaka Kurita developed the first set of Emojis, 176 in total, for the Japanese telecom company NTT Docomo. (Emoji translates to “picture character” in Japanese).

 Clio Chang in an article, the Emoji deserves better than the Emoji movie, explained that the early Emojis designed for cell phone screens were 12 x 12 pixels large and the icons included the sun, train and a game controller. Looking at them now evokes the quiet charm of early internet pixel art; just a few dozen points strung together and a high-heeled shoe or a rocking horse appears.
Picture Credit: newsrepublic.com


It wasn’t until 2008 that a uniform Emoji alphabet was created, and Apple adopted it in 2011, adding it to its iOS5 operating system.

As ridiculous as it sounds, July 17 is celebrated as World Emoji Day, and Emoji lovers all over the World celebrate their “little digital pictorial friend”. The day was picked because it’s the birthday of Apple’s iCal product.

It might interest you to know that, there are 2,666 official emojis in the Unicode Standard, as of May, that always work. Plus there are countless unofficial emojis introduced by companies, brands and even individual celebrities.

Apple marked World Emoji Day by releasing final version of a few new Emojis that will be part of iOS 11. There is a new “bearded person,” “breastfeeding” and a mushroom-cloud-exploding head, plus a zombie and some others.

Language as a means of communication is constantly changing and evolving. The digital images people send via text and social media reflect the changing nature of communication, both for individuals and for businesses. Emoji helps to inject tone and body language into what would otherwise be plain text.

However, emoji are not to be confused with the emoticon, an emoticon is a representation of a facial expression, used to convey emotion in text.

According to emojitracker.com, which records real-time emoji use on Twitter, the most used emojis are all happy ones—the joyful crying face, the heart, the face with heart-eyes. This ceaseless positivity may be annoying to those of an older generation, but it’s one of the few ways to balance the cynicism and derision and hate that proliferate on the internet

Emojis are the next generation of emoticons- images that represent emotions and just about everything else, while emoticons are always about emotions and express them with a face.

People have embraced emojis not only because of how available they are, but also because Emojis help them better communicate and be understood. They are simply very entertaining and useful, which is why many brands have very quickly integrated them into their communication strategy on social networks.

Personally, I don’t remember the last time someone wrote me LOL to express that they were laughing, but at least once a day, someone sends an Emoji to express their mood at that moment. They are appealing because they allow us express ourselves better and to shorten things.

Although their meanings are mostly universal  and thanks to globalization, everyone can understand them, it is also necessary to understand the social context.

What is your favourite emoji?


Oluwatosin Agboola

I love awesome and exciting Tech Stories.Talk to me about your startup.


  • October 11, 2017 at 1:27 pm

    Awesome way of short message communication without the use of long words or grammar.. the advent of smartphones really made emoji’s widely popular and used. Thanks for telling us more about what we know.

  • October 11, 2017 at 2:38 pm

    It’s nothing really bad,it’s amazing thereby making ur reactions to a particular event clear and simple.


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