The Emerging Emoji Culture
It’s rare that I have a text conversation these days without the use of an emoji to animate my message. From the speak-no-evil monkey to the slice of pepperoni pizza, to the ever-so-popular brown pile of poo, conversations enter a whole new realm of interpretation. Born in Japan in 1999, emojis have become a new way of story telling and language here in the United States. I think these little symbols’ infiltration into our culture really hit home when my grandmother used a series of balloons and party poppers to wish me a happy birthday this last year. In fact, according to Huffington Post, a study conducted in 2013 revealed that 74% of Americans have used emojis at least once and Instagram data shows that nearly 50% of users’ posts contain emojis! Sometimes finding the perfect way to explain your emotions over a text message can be rough. Picking the perfect words to express that cruddy feeling after a long day in the office is much easier communicated with everyone’s favorite pile of poo [insert winking face here].
Emojis have recently broadened in spectrum with a release earlier this year. In an effort to diversify their reach and satisfy a worldwide user-base, emojis have added characters with 6 skin tone choices that were developed based on the Fitzpatrick Classification scale, according to Forbes. This scale was originally created by Harvard dermatologist Thomas Fitzpatrick and is used as a tool for research related to human skin pigmentation.
And just last month, the nonprofit organization, Unicode Consortium, in charge of regulating coding standards, released an update that we can expect to see around 250 new emoji characters in the (hopefully near) future. Some of the new additions to look forward to include a plethora of food choices (like BACON!!!!), sport and religious symbols, and my most anticipated rumor, the middle finger. You can see more sneak peaks on Unicode’s blog here.
I think it’s just a matter of time before the newest updates present additions that allow us to start using a Chevy emoji to answer the question of what kind of car we’re shopping for. Or being able to send a Budweiser bottle in place of a grocery list to your friends when they ask what to bring for your weekend BBQ. I’m curious to see which brands will be first on the list!
Either way, I’m excited for the release of the upcoming emoji updates and look forward to seeing how this newly adopted language will evolve our communication and advertising strategies.
How often do you use emojis in your daily conversations?