Emoji, emoticons, smileys, whatever you want to call them, have burst onto the scene in recent years, sparking a tidal wave of interest from almost anybody who owns a computer or mobile device. But what do we really know about them? And what does the future hold for these cheeky little characters?
We’ve come a long way since the days of combining pieces of punctuation to form little crude faces at the end of an SMS text to your mates. Since the integration of the Emoji keyboard in iphone’s after the release of IOS5, some android devices, and even on Mac computers, Emoji’s have barraged their way into the lives of millions, and they’re not going anywhere anytime soon.
A handful of facial expressions have now made way for over 800 new pictures. From little purple devils to diamond rings and spaghetti Bolognese, if you can’t find an Emoji for what you’re trying to say, you’re looking in the wrong place!
I think much of their growth in popularity is down to convenience for the user. When you have as many friends as me (joking, I have no friends), replying to all my imessages with a string of sentences just isn’t practical anymore. Instead, I’ll opt for a handful of words, and 3 or 4 suitable (or totally random) Emoji’s!
We’ve already witnessed Emoji’s escaping from our phones into social media, and we’re now seeing examples of them making their way into some print publications, music videos, and even clothing.
Perhaps in 5 years’ time the majority of our texts and updates will consist of Emoji’s, with every conceivable thing in existence being added, or maybe it’ll be a sad day :’( as even more convenient methods of expressing ourselves make their way into our lives.
I’ve even started slipping the odd smiley into my emails here at Zeal, to test the water. Although it could be a while before we get our clients to hop on the bandwagon too…