An Introduction to Emojis
Emojis are small symbols such as smileys, everyday objects or flags, which are used for communication on the Internet and on mobile devices. They are originally from Japan. The pictograms have established themselves mainly in the course of the spread of the messenger service WhatsApp. Now they are used on all kinds of social media channels including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. In addition, emojis are used by programs such as Apple, Android and Skype.
People and Faces Emoji
Plants and Flowers Emoji
Fashion and Accessories Emoji
Hearts and Love Emoji
Weather and Time Emoji
Food and Drinks Emoji
Sports, Games and Hobbies Emoji
Buildings, Locations and Landmarks Emoji
Books, Envelopes and Stationery Emoji
Numbers and Letters Emoji
Hand Signs and Arrows Emoji
Zodiac Signs and Flags Emoji
In Japanese, Emoji means picture letter. The first emojis where introduced by the Japanese mobile operator NTT DoCoMo in 1998. The small icons were well received by users, and other handset manufacturers began to provide emojis on their devices as well.
Initially, emojis were mainly used in the chats of younger users. But they became increasingly popular among the general population. There are now even books written only with emojis, such as the “Book from the Ground” by Chinese artist Bing Xu. In addition, emojis were already used for advertising campaigns, such as the world’s largest furniture retailer Ikea, who developed his own emoji keyboard for iPhones.
Emojis in Unicode
PCs transmit characters in number codes. Unicode is a worldwide standard for various fonts and text characters. In 2010, the Unicode Consortium included emojis in the Unicode Standard Characters Record. Since then emojis are represented in Unicode. For example, a laughing, open-mouthed smiley in Unicode is represented by U + 1F603, a smiley heart-shaped smiley is U + 1F60D. As a result, each PC recognizes what it should display.
Smiling face with heart-shaped eyes
😍 U + 1F60D = Smiling face with heart-shaped eyes
Laughing face with tears of joy
😂 U + 1F602 = face with tears of joy
Unicode defines the official meaning of emojis. However, the Unicode does not determine how the emojis should look in detail. Therefore, the same emojis can be designed differently on different devices and social media.