Your friends probably use them all the time, emojis. Those little cute smiley faces and other icons you keep seeing on Instant messaging apps like Whatsapp. The origin of these cute creaters might surprise you and the meaning even more, so lets dig into the history of Emoji, What is Emoji and the meaning of the different Emoji’s.
What is Emoji?
Emoji is the Japanese name for picture + Character and refers to smileys or ideograms used on different web pages. In 1999 text messaging grew immensely in Japan and users started to share picture messages as a way to communicate, telecom companies weren’t all too happy about this and engineers were having a hard time developing systems that could handle the extra load. The Solution? Well, what eventually became known as Emoji’s. A Japanese Telecom provider called DoKoMo i-mode was the first company to allow the use of “emojis” in its text messages.
What is the difference between Emoji and Emoticon?
- Emoji: They are limited in numbers and are predefined images. A user can’t see an Emoji if the system it is on doesn’t support it.
- Emoticons: User created images (made with text) the amount of combinations is infinite and any device that can receive or send a message can interpret them. Example :-)
Emoji, the iPhone and the rise of IM apps
So, Emoji’s come from Japan, why is it so popular in other countries too then? If it wasn’t for Steve Jobs (Apple Inc, Founder) Emoji’s would probably have never gotten so popular as they are today on modern smartphones. On a trip to reveal the iPhone in Japan many customers told him that the iPhone all though a huge success in the US wouldn’t do so well in countries like Japan as it misses a lot of features many users love, one of them are Emojis. Japanese telecom provider Softbank agreed on selling the iPhone at its stores if Steve promised to integrate Emoji’s into its device. Shortly after this the Emoji app became a must have thing on every iPhone.
When will new Emoji’s become available?
Emoji recently announced it has added over 250 new emoji’s to the 722 that are currently available. Some of the new emoji’s include the middle finger, shield, gym equipment, floppy disk, worldmap, joystick, spider, rolled-up newspaper, a thermometer, a golfer and admission tickets and many more. All though these have already been released, it is yet unknown when they will become available on your smartphone.
What are the Different Emoji Meanings?
You can find a full list of the meaning of each emoji here. Here is an image feature every Emoji currently available: