If you couldn’t decipher the title- the world has fallen head over heels with emojis. We text emojis, we tweet emojis, we dress up as emojis on Halloween, and we even have Emojipedia for all of our emoji needs and concerns. Why then, are we so obsessed with these little bite sized graphics? And what’s in the emoji future?
The answer is pretty simple. Aside from the fact that the language of emoji is universally understood and global communication is increasingly important, we’re a visual bunch of people and like to communicate through pictures: We’ve been using logographs since ancient times. In addition to this, we can all agree that you can only convey so much emotion through a normal text. Adding emojis is a quick way to add sentiment; an astounding 72% of 18-25 year olds in Britain say they find it easier to express their feelings through emoji than through written word. It comes as no surprise then, that we can’t get enough of these things, and it looks like that isn’t going to change anytime soon.
Since iOS launched the emoji keyboard in 2011, there’s been a steady rise in the emoji to text ratio, starting at 10% and nearing half earlier this year. An Instagram study found that some countries are using more than 60% emojis in captions and comments, with pictures replacing the LOL’s and OMG’s of Internet slang. And because it’s blown up so much in popularity, Instagram just launched the emoji hashtag, which allows users to search their favourite emoji within the app and find similar content #. And if you weren’t happy about the restriction of skin tones on your emoji keyboard, iOS now gives you five different tones to choose from so you can further customize your next thumbs up. New emojis are being ideated every day- if we’re lucky, we’ll have a bacon emoji soon- because + many, many more just is not enough.
And the land of emoji is a land of opportunity, too. Brands are adapting to the changing social space to include emojis, a key move in engaging the millennial generation that isn’t as responsive to traditional media. Burger King branded it’s own set of emoji’s to launch a new product, and Domino’s made ordering pizza as easy as tweeting out . WWF launched an emoji campaign to raise money for endangered animals. We’re even seeing them pop up on the fashion scene (people literally wearing emojis).
Emojis are everywhere. If you’ve hopped on the emoji bandwagon with the rest of us, here’s to the future of having an emoji for every situation life throws at us. If not, you’re just going to have to accept the bleak future of hashtagging normal words and dialing 1-800-PIZZA for your Friday night dinner.