Emojis originated in Japan and are known as “絵文字/えもじ emoji” in Japanese. The earliest emojis were black and white and were introduced by the Japanese company Softbank in the 1990s.

In 1999, Shigetaka Kurita designed 176 12x12 pixel emoji images for the release of "i-mode", the integrated mobile Internet service of Japanese mobile operator NTT DoCoMo. Later in 2008, the iPhone appeared. In order to meet the demand of Japanese customers, Apple added an Emoji Keyboard to iPhone. With the popularity of iPhone, emojis were spread around the world.

🔺: The evolution of emoji

Emojis are not images or icons, but characters, so they can be used anywhere that supports text input. They are regulated and managed by the Unicode Consortium, and each emoji is represented as a "code point" in the Unicode Standard, which ensures that emojis can be used universally on different devices and platforms.

Although the code point of each emoji are assigned by the Unicode Standard, the appearance of each emoji is designed by each platform itself, so the same emoji will look different when displayed on different devices or platforms, as shown in the following picture:

The number of emojis is constantly increasing. Every year, the Unicode Consortium collects proposals for new emoji from users and selects the emojis that can be added. When the new emoji list is released, major platforms will start to design the appearance for each emoji and then launch them for everyone to use. Up to now, Emoji version 14.0 has been launched, and the total number of emoji has reached more than 3,000.

Nowadays, emojis are so popular that they are almost a new universal language, used by about 90% of Internet users worldwide. And their influence continues to grow: 😂 became the Oxford Dictionary's Word of the Year in 2015; the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York included 176 original emoji created by Joji Kurita in its collection; the annual July 17 is designated as the Emoji Day... The emojis have become an indispensable part of people's daily life.

In the future, the use of emojis will become more and more widespread, which is also a trend. If you want to know more about emojis, just follow us—— EMOJIALL!