Emoji are ideograms and smileys used in electronic messages and web pages. Emoji exist in various genres, including facial expressions, common objects, places and types of weather, and animals. They are much like emoticons, but emoji are actual pictures instead of typographics. Originally meaning pictograph, the word emoji comes from Japanese e (“picture”) + moji (“character”). The resemblance to the English words emotion and emoticon is purely coincidental.
Born of emoji
“EMOJI” were born in a true eureka moment, from the mind of a single man Shigetaka Kurita who is an employee at the Japanese telecom company NTT Docomo. Back in the late 1990s, the company was looking for a way to distinguish its pager service from its competitors in a very tight market. Kurita hit on the idea of adding simplistic cartoon images to its messaging functions as a way to appeal to teens. The first round of what came to be called emoji—a Japanese neologism that means, more or less, “picture word”—were designed by Kurita, using a pencil and paper. As drawings on a 12-by-12-pixel grid and were inspired by pictorial Japanese sources, like manga (Japanese comic books) and kanji (Japanese characters borrowed from written Chinese).
This feature proved so popular that the other Japanese telecoms adopted it. In 2007, Apple released the first iPhone—and the global smartphone market boomed. Apple and Google both realized that, in order to crack the Japanese market, they would need to provide emoji functions in their operating systems, if only for use in Japan. So Apple buried an emoji keyboard in the iPhone where North Americans weren’t intended to find it. But eventually tech-savvy users in the U.S., who were curious about the Japanese emoji phenomenon, figured out that you could force your phone to open this hidden keyboard by downloading a Japanese-language app, and suddenly you could bejangle your texts with a smiling Pile of Poo.💩
Growing of Emoji
Every Smartphone Operating system like Apple, Android, etc.—has its own rendering of each emoji. The programmers behind each operating system are free to design their emoji as they like.
From 2010 onward some emoji character sets have been incorporated into Unicode, a standard system for indexing characters, which has allowed them to be used outside Japan and to be standardized across different operating systems. Hundreds of emoji characters were encoded in the Unicode Standard in version 6.0 released in October 2010 .
The popularity of emoji has caused pressure from vendors and international markets to add additional designs into the Unicode standard to meet the demands of different cultures.
Unicode 7.0 added approximately 250 emoji, many from the Webdings and Wingdings fonts.
Some characters now defined as emoji are inherited from a variety of pre-Unicode messenger systems not only used in Japan, including Yahoo and MSN Messenger.
Unicode 8.0 added another 41 emoji, including articles of sports equipment such as the cricket bat, food items such as the taco, signs of the Zodiac, new facial expressions, and symbols for places of worship.
Corporate demand for emoji standardization has placed pressures on the Unicode Consortium, with some members complaining that it had overtaken the group’s traditional focus on standardizing characters used for minority languages and transcribing historical records.
In total there are 2,823 emojis in the Unicode Standard as of June 2018.
There has been discussion among legal experts on whether or not emoji could be admissible as evidence in court trials. Furthermore, as emoji continue to develop and grow as a “language” of symbols, there may also be the potential of the formation of emoji “dialects”. Emoji are being used as more than just to show reactions and emotions.
We’ve stumbled on whole new confusing ways to communicate with each other, so we’ve been given a whole new vocabulary to say “I’m laughing,” 😂 or “joy,”😺 or “Well done.” This new way will not replace all the old ways, but it can augment them and help us muddle through. In lieu of being able to read each other’s faces when we say these things, we’ve developed these surrogate faces. They’re simple. They’re silly. They don’t yet have a taco. But they work, at least a little, at least right now. We blow each other kisses 😘 . We smile with hearts in our eyes 😍. We cry tears of joy. We say “I love you,” but in a million different ways, each one freighted with the particular meaning we hope fervently to convey, then send them out hopefully, like a smiley face ☺️ in a bottle, waiting to be received by the exact person it was intended for, and opened up, and understood completely.