On this special day, World Emoji Day, (Yes, there is a World Emoji Day.) we would like to tell you more about the fellas who live in your phones. 

Emojis brighten up your conversation. Using them everyday, do you think you are familiar with these yellow faces? Have you ever noticed many of the emojis are very Japanese? Have you ever had misunderstanding because of emojis? Have you ever wondered how an emoji is made? Here are 5 fun facts about emojis for you to get to know them. 

  • Emojis originate from Japan. 

You may have noticed some Japanese features among the emojis. For example, landmarks including the Tokyo Tower🗼and the Fuji Mountain 🗻 and cultural heritages including carp streamers  🎏 and wind chimes 🎐. That is because emoji is invented by a Japanese, Shigetaka Kurita, who worked at Docomo, in 1998. Its name, emoji, literally means ‘picture’ (え/ e) and ‘word’ (もじ/ moji) in Japanese. Its popularity skyrocketed after the President of Softbank then suggested Apple to incorporate emojis into Iphones.

  • At first, there was different standards for emoji’s meaning. 

Docomo’s rivals, au and Softbank both developed their own versions of emojis after emoji went viral. Yet, they were only compatible at their own products. When au users send a ‘fever’ emoji to Softbank users, it is received as a ‘shy’ emoji. When the ‘shy’ emoji is sent back to au users and then to Softbank users again, the meaning is interpreted in another way again. 

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Everyone is confused. So, Unicode Consortium decided to unify the emojis and develop a unique code with clear definitions for each emoji. After that, no matter how the company designs an emoji, the emojis will not be misinterpreted.

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  • The number of emojis surprises you. 

We always use the same emojis in spite of the great variety. But in fact, until March, 2019, there are a total of 3019 emojis for us to choose from! For a more comprehensive expression, emojis continuously review and update. In 2019, Unicode Consortium has approved 230 new emojis. Hopefully, we can see them on our phone at the end of year!

  • There is a World Emoji Day. 

The World Emoji Day is on 17 July, which is today! If you assume 17 July is the day when emoji is invented, then you are wrong. The reason why is that it is the date shown on the calendar emoji. Eventually, 17 July becomes World Emoji Day. 

There are many ways to celebrate World Emoji Day. Apple generated emoji versions for all the leaders on World Emoji Day in 2018.  The Imperial State Building in New York changed the colour into ’emoji yellow’ in 2017. Australian media used emojis to represent the weather on a forecast.

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  • It takes approximately two years to create an emoji. 

As simple as it seems, it takes two years to design, approve, and programme an emoji. 

Happy World Emoji Day. Thanks to emoji designers and programmers, online texting is liven up. So next time you use an emoji, let’s all take a moment to appreciate all the hard work behind. 

Cr: Unicode