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Evolution Of Your Favorite Conversation Media Form: Emojis

You probably used one this morning. You have definitely seen one today. And you will encounter them the next time you open up your friend's chat: Emojis.

The emoji culture exploded into the global mainstream a decade earlier. This cemented their status as a third language for us!

Surprising, how fast the world moves. Those little yellow visuals of emotions that flooded our texts are now playing with global brands. They are restructuring the digital landscape.

A Short History On Emojis

Emojis found their origin in Japan. E-mail was already a thing, but words are never enough to express especially with a character limit in place.

The emojis came into the picture after a Japanese creator got inspired by emoticons being used in online chat rooms.

20 years later, emojis have kept their small proportions size-wise. Their influence and value are on the other end of the size spectrum!

It all started with a humble text message. Some creative individuals thought that a semicolon and a curve bracket will make a good winky face!

This led to a whopping 92 per cent of people today believing that their feelings are better understood when they use emojis over words.

That right there is the story of these eccentric digital favourites. This is how they became a force to which we cannot turn a blind eye anytime soon, maybe never!

Emojis have helped people connect and express

Bland text messages are a mood killer.

Imagine a conversation where your friend texts "Great weather!", that would be the height of ambiguity, no? Is he enjoying sunny skies or breathing wildfire smoke?

The Oxford dictionaries' called “emoji” the word of the year in the year 2015.

Emojis symbolises a socio-cultural revolution brought by a pictographic symbol!

COVID-19, social distancing and a national lockdown haven’t been prosperous for our sanity, but they have for emoji.

According to Google, Android emoji usage has increased by more than 60% between January and March 2020.

As we adjusted to the new normal the means of connecting with our fellow friends, family and colleagues turned mostly virtual.

Emojis is the easiest way to express yourself via texts caught on even more. Knowing the popularity of emojis before I did not know if this was even possible.

Industries and businesses where emojis have made themselves at home.

Forget about the multinational car companies for a moment, have you seen the food menu stands of your local restaurants lately?

Half of them have a beverage emoji next to the coffee, right? How (un)surprising!

In the Augmented Reality industry:

Remember in late 2020, when Viro media came up with a new Augmented Reality app, Posemoji for the iOS system?

With this, AR content tracks your body movements to create special effects. It lets you send the emoji based on your body movement. For instance, you can simply send an emoji of Heart by bringing your hands together in form of a heart. Cool, right?

Shake your fist and your VR avatar’s face will turn “angry.” These are what Facebook calls “VR emoji,” and they’re the company’s vision for how we’ll convey emotion in virtual reality. We have all obsessed over them at some point!

In the Hotel and Tourism Industry:

Major hospitality brands are leveraging tiny aeroplanes, palms and other colourful images to help their tweets pop and subject lines entice. Some industry players have taken it to the extreme.

Aloft designed an emoji-only room service menu. The Priceline Group’s KAYAK brand recently introduced an emoji-based search. Think it’s time to work emoji into your hotel messaging or tourism marketing strategy?

In Education Industry:

University of Edinburgh researchers found that the use of emoji, such as the smiley, made it more likely that students would respond well to a task and improved evaluation and teacher-student interactions digitally. Looks like we will be flooding our school assignments with emojis soon!

In Public Health and The Pharmaceutical Industry:

Do you know that emojis have become the face of the COVID-19 pandemic? On World Emoji Day 2020, the “face with medical mask” icon had been the go-to emoji for COVID-19.

Also, the World Health Organization (WHO) has taken the initiative to spread health messages with emojis. Did you get motivated to sanitize your hands after getting a 'hand washing' emoji from your friend? The microbe emoji sure was trending this year!

In Awareness Campaigns:

Emojis have quickly become the way to take social awareness campaigns to the public. Campaigns like equality for the LGBTQ+ community, breaking social stigmas about periods in females, racial discrimination etc. with the usage of the rainbow, period and black community emojis!

Did you share your support for the Black Lives Matter campaign with the emoji of an Asian man? Millions of people did!

These little keyboard specials are constantly changing the way we communicate. The social media generation has revolutionized the way people express emotions. It's only a matter of time before we start identifying the digital world with these visual media!

Scope: Where can they be in the future?

This age of the Internet is driven by social media personas and the need to have a voice or presence that stands out. It's certainly like that we'll see many more emojis in time. As the library of symbols grows, so does our ability to say more complex things.

Researchers can see emojis cementing their position as a truly global language in the near future. The type of emojis will further diversify - e.g. Animojis (animated emojis) and Bitmojis (your own personal emoji). They may begin to replace text as the key provider of the content.

Brands, organizations and governments will analyze the use of emojis on a macro scale. This will in real-time further benefit us from their crowd attraction properties.

Whether stickers will replace emoji is an interesting topic for researchers. Under the impact of stickers, how to further enhance emoji's performance in emotion and improve user experience may also be a direction worth exploring.

‘The more media tools we’re presented with, the more personalised they get,’ Dr Brown of Deakin University said. He concludes, ‘So we might end up with personalised emojis, perhaps even with our own faces on them.’ The business of product personalization might get a push forward from the alarming popularity of emojis!

Regardless of where they go in the future, whether you’re a linguistic purist or you’re punctuating your text-based communications, with as many hearts and smiley faces as your recipient can handle, there’s no disputing the near-ubiquitous presence of emoji in our lives.

The recognition of a new language by dedicating a whole day to it, once a year, the World Emoji Day, hardly helps our pointless hesitation, no?

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