5 Surprising Facts About Emojis

July 22, 2019

Emojis are a unique approach to modern language. These digital icons are somewhat akin to modern hieroglyphics that edge out the need for words.

They are used in casual messages between friends, in promotional marketing materials and even home décor (yes, those emoji pillows count as home décor). They are meant to be understood no matter what language you speak.

No wonder they have their own holiday. In honor of World Emoji Day, which was July 17, we have rounded up 5 surprising facts about emojis. As a bonus, we will also include some of our favorite resources about emojis.

#1: The overwhelming majority use them

Saying that emojis are popular is an understatement. 95% of Internet users have used an emoji. Over 10 billion emojis are sent daily.

They are used prevalently on social media—over  700 million emojis are used in Facebook posts daily. About 36% of Instagram posts contain 1 to 3 emojis each.

#2: They increase engagement

Putting emojis in digital channels tends to increase engagement.

Including emojis in a Tweet can increase engagement by 25.4%. Adding emojis to a Facebook post can increase the number of post likes by 57% and the number of comments and shares by 33%.

And 56% of brands that put emojis in their email subject lines had a higher unique open rate. Emoji marketing in digital channels can create quite the impact!

#3: There are so many!

How many emojis are there? There are 3,019 official emojis. The Unicode Consortium approves the new emojis. They released 230 new emojis in February 2019, which include the waffle, otter and guide dog emojis.

There are 1,606 different emoji of people and the body. There are almost 150 varieties of the smiley face emoticon.

#4: There are emoji awards

While we all have our favorite emojis, there is an official World Emoji contest. Internet users vote for the recipients of several world emoji award, including Best New Emoji, Excellence in Emoji Use and Most Anticipated Emoji.

The 2018 Emoji of the Year was the Thinking Face emoji. It is awarded to the emoji that best describes the year.

Voting takes place about a week before World Emoji Day and the winners are announced on World Emoji Day.

#5: Emojis are 20 years old

A Japanese artist invented emojis in 1999. The artist, Shigetaka Kurita, was looking for an attractive interface to share information in a simple concise way. He came up with 176 original emoji, which are now part of  New York Museum of Modern Art’s permanent collection.

In 2007, a team at Google petitioned the Unicode Consortium to recognize emojis. This consortium is a nonprofit group that works to maintain text standards across computers. Two Apple engineers joined Google’s petition and added 625 emojis to the proposal before the Unicode Consortium. In 2010, the Unicode Consortium adopted the emojis into the Unicode Standard. This acceptance was a way to maintain standards and legitimizing emoji.

Emoji Resources

We share 4 resources to help you make good use of emojis in your communications.

  1. Look up an emoji’s definition in the emojipedia
  2. Make your own emoji with the emojibuilder
  3. Official Unicode emoji list
  4. Emoji Twitter realtime tracker
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