Happy #WorldEmojiDay – Celebrating a Universal Language!

By July 17, 2016 Stories

If you’re a social media fanatic like the team at KC Communications, you may have heard that today is #WorldEmojiDay. That’s right, July 17th celebrates the invention of the emoji; a universal language that’s been taking over the world since its inception in 1998.

But what exactly is the emoji and where did this cultural obsession come from?

Emojis are a set of trendy iconography used by people of all ages across the world to display emotions, thoughts and feelings. World Emoji Day itself was founded by Emojipedia founder Jeremy Burge in 2014. This special day falls on July 17th in particular, due to Apple launching its calendar app, iCal, on this date back in 2002.

But the emoji can be traced back to the 1990’s. Whilst we were busy crimping our hair and bopping to the Spice Girls, Shigetaka Kurita from Japanese communications firm, NTT DoCoMo, was hard at work creating typographic displays of facial representations, otherwise known as emojis.

Kurita created his first 180 emojis, based on the expressions he observed in the city where he worked. He also took inspiration from street signs, manga comics and weather forecasts that used symbols to show climate change.

Since then, emojis have risen in popularity. So much so that in 2015, the “Face with Tears of Joy” emoji was voted the most popular worldwide. It came as no surprise then when Oxford Dictionaries named this particular emoji, Word of the Year.

Brands have also jumped on the emoji bandwagon, with big names such as Burger King, creating their very own chicken fries emoji. This particular campaign lead to over 3.5 million branded conversations – including both peer-to-peer sharing and brand direct conversations. Similarly, hotel chain, Aloft now allows visitors to order room service using food emoji’s.

So it’s clear, both people and brands love emoji’s – but why?

Language is constantly evolving. Just as slang terms have risen and fallen in popularity, emojis appear to be doing just the same. We continually look for new ways to communicate and emojis allow us to convey thoughts and feelings when stand-alone text will not suffice.

So in honour of this special day, we at KC Comms have decided to share with you our favourite and most used emojis – quite a tricky task as there are currently as many as 1,851 emoji characters!

First up, Founder and Managing Director, Katrina Cliffe says her favourite emoji is ?. She states, “I use it when something makes me really happy or when I find myself laughing uncontrollably!”.

KC Account Manager, Sarah Benson admits to using the eye roll emoji on a daily basis but states her favourite is the upside down smiley, explaining “this emoji is usually used when I feel I’m going a bit crazy!”.

Cat-obsessed Account Manager, Jennifer Ogden, favours the cat emojis but her most frequently used are ? and ?. #TeamKC is hoping she feels better soon!

Last but certainly not least, Marketing assistant, Olivia Bates loves to use the hugging emoji, stating “I can’t go a day without sending hugs!”.

But what’s your favourite emoji? Tweet us @KCComms! #TeamKC