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10 Things You Didn’t Know About Emojis

With more than 90% of the world’s population using emojis, it is clear that we see them everywhere. Sometimes emojis can represent our thoughts better than words – think about the upside-down smiley face. Emojis have greatly changed the way we communicate, and all this development has taken just over two decades!

1. The word “emoji”

The word was added to the Oxford Dictionary only in 2013. Imagine – only eight years ago, there was no official word to describe the smileys people nowadays sent each other daily. Emojis were invented in 1999 by Shigetaka Kurita.

2. There’s a world emoji day

On the 17th of July the world emoji day is celebrated. Why is it this day? Because it’s the day on the iOS emoji of a calendar. Sometimes the World Emoji Day is recognised by Apple and Google by announcing the new emojis that will be released soon.

Why is July 17 the date on the emoji calendar? - The Washington Post

3. Emotion and emoji

Even though these two words are similar, they do not mean the same thing. "Emoticon" refers to using keyboard characters that represent facial expressions, for instance :-D and :*. On the other hand, “emoji” stands for the tiny images that can represent anything.

4. Word of the Year 2015

In 2015 Oxford Dictionaries announced that the smiley with the tears of joy is – funnily enough – the Word of the Year. Unbelievable to think how quickly emojis gained popularity!

5. Most popular emojis

You might have guessed that the most popular emoji is the laughing face with tears of joy, but emojis with hearts are followed by it. Out of these the smiling face with heart eyes is second, face blowing a red kiss the third and the red heart the fourth. The “normal” smiling face emoji is less popular than these four!

6. Emojiology

There are several websites that explain the meaning and even development of different emojis.

7. The chips

There is an emoji with an emoji on it!

🍟 French Fries Emoji on Apple iOS 6.0

8. Cultural differences

There are some cultural differences to interpreting emojis. The one with hands pressed firmly together can be thought to mean praying or a high five, but initially – as emojis were invented by a Japanese person – it was to tell “thank you” or “please”.

9. Emojis and equality

In 2015 changing the skin tone of emojis was made possible. Certain emojis have been waited for long: for example the transgender flag and a “person feeding a baby” have been approved for release in 2020.

🏳️‍⚧️ Transgender Flag Emoji on Facebook 3.1

10. Emojis you didn’t know you needed

Emojis are small photos and there is an unlimited number of items you could take a picture of. Some of the most wished emojis are an afro, hands making a heart and a bagel. Perhaps we will see these three during the upcoming years!