By the end of 2015, Oxford Dictionaries declared the ‘Word of the Year’ and it’s not a word – it’s an emoji, specifically the ‘face with tears of joy’ emoji. Oxford University Press partnered with SwiftKey, a mobile technology business to explore frequency and usage statistics for some of the most popular emoji across the world, and found ‘face with tears of joy’ to be the most used emoji globally in 2015.
Japan gave birth to emojis and the term literally translates to “picture character.” A convenient way to convey an expression in one character, they have even been standardized by the Unicode Consortium. Popular social networks like Facebook and Twitter are increasingly getting emoji-friendly. In place of a dislike button, Facebook introduced emoji-based buttons alongside the Like button, to express sentiments other than like – “love,” “haha,” “yay,” “wow,” “sad” and “angry.”
Twitter adapted emojis in 2014 and over time the platform has tried hard to own the emojis. An analysis of the tweets about televised programs coming from the US between April 2014 and July 2015, found at least one emoji character in 14% of all tweets. Brands have joined the race too and Twitter was not behind to open up branded emojis. If reports are to be believed Twitter’s new revenue source makes a hefty $1 million. (Read: With Emojis, Twitter Will Make Hay As The Sun Shines)
Today any conversation over the web is incomplete if it is not said with emojis or expressed with a few emojis. To celebrate the growth of this new global language, the world is celebrating #WorldEmojiDay. (Read: How These 7 Indian Brands Are Celebrating #WorldEmojiDay)
According to the World Emoji Day portal the date July 17 is famously displayed on the iOS Calendar Emoji, which makes it perfect date for World Emoji Day. “Even if you are using a system with a different calendar emoji, that shouldn’t stop you joining in the global celebration of emoji.” To make the day popular, Jonathan Mann has written and produced an anthem.
Twitter & Google
Twitter, this year, has owned the day in various ways. Recently, the platform unveiled Twemoji 2.1 ahead of World Emoji Day. It has rolled out an update to the emojis available on the website, which includes 72 new additions from Unicode 9.0. This also makes the platform to include new emojis such as the ROFL, Nauseated Face, Lying Face and Drooling Face. A total of 167 new emoji images have been created just prior to World Emoji Day.
While the platform was quite active celebrating the day on the 17th, the network shared an interesting data visual that showed tweeted emojis listed by country. Looks like USA and Canada can borrow some music from South America.
Twitter India shared another visual highlighting top tweeted emojis by category.
Search giant Google celebrated the day by promoting gender equality through emoji. Starting May this year, Google has been working on the same. On World Emoji Day, Unicode Emoji Subcommittee agreed to add 11 new professional emoji, in both male and female options and with all the skin tones. That’s more than 100 new emoji to choose from!
Unicode is also adding male and female versions to 33 existing emoji. For example, you’ll be able to pick both a female runner emoji and a male runner emoji, or a man or woman getting a haircut.
Additionally, ahead of World Emoji Day Google’s Made with Code released a new project that teaches coding skills through the creation of emoji-inspired stickers. These efforts are one of the several efforts Google is making to better represent women in technology, and to connect girls with education and resources they need to pursue careers in STEM.
Brands were not far behind in owning the day. Pepsi that has been marketing specially designed emoji cans and bottles in more than 100 global countries, celebrated the day with its own Snapchat lens.
The Indian counterpart did an interesting exercise by placing a Pepsi mood vending machine in a Delhi college campus. Pepsi India shook things up with a unique mood vending machine with six different moods. Select Your Emoji Mood, perform a surprise task and enjoy a chilled Pepsi bottle to match your mood.
The day also saw a Twitter contest, where the brand asked questions related to specific mood and participants had to reply with interesting and creative response in the form of tweets, posts pictures, videos etc. The day long activity was built on various moods such as happy, food, music, party, and more
STAR Plus #MeraWalaEmoji
India’s leading Hindi General Entertainment Channel, STAR Plus carried out an interesting activity on the day. The television channel known for its serials, asked people on Twitter to select the best emoji that describes their beloved stars. Naming as the #MeraWalaEmoji, the channel asked which emojis will suit Akshara’s (the lead actress of Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai) loving and caring nature.
Similarly, it asked which emoji will portray Anokhi (actress of ‘Humko Tumse Ho Gaya Hai Pyaar Kya Karein‘) the best.
And then there were brands sharing interesting emoji visuals:
Samsung Mobile India
Fiama Di Wills Men
A recent survey “the rise and rise of emoji marketing” conducted by Appboy, found that the number of active campaigns containing emojis has increased by 557 percent in the last 12 months, and 114 percent year to date. 51 percent of survey respondents said they had a positive impression of brands using emojis, and further noted that they perceived these brands as being fun or relatable.
Appboy says, “Emojis give brands the opportunity to engage in new forms of expression that fit naturally into consumers’ existing conversations. Further, they help marketers better understand consumers’ needs and preferences.” Marketers will need to take emojis seriously, if they want to stay ahead.