Emoji, aka emojis or emojis, are not just pictures and emoticons. It is a universal set of unicode codes. It is also an important part of any correspondence. They are constantly updated, new and improved ones appear. There are even annual rankings of the most popular emojis! How did they come about, how are they arranged and can you create your own emoji?
Emojis were not invented in the USA, as it might seem, but in Japan. Actually, the word “emoji” itself is translated from Japanese as “e” – a picture and “moji” – a sign. For the first time, the Japanese programmer Shigetaka Kurichi suggested expressing emotions and mood with graphic emoticons. He drew 176 12 x 12 px icons.
Shigetaki Kurichi’s first pixelated emoji
Curichi created the first images for Japan’s nascent mobile internet network, NTT DoCoMo. The message volume was limited to 250 characters, and emoji became a real salvation. Shigetaka Kurichi did not even know then how much his guess hit right on target.
A little later, a certain Nicolas Laufrani drew attention to the popularity of emoji – now this Frenchman owns the copyright for any smiley image and even its name itself in more than 100 countries around the world. And then he took Japanese emoji and began to experiment, eventually creating those same recognizable yellow icons. He also made the so-called dictionary of emoticons, coming up with categories from emotions to national flags and signs of the zodiac.
In 2010, emojis were incorporated into Unicode, the main encoding standard for non-printable characters.
Emoji penetrated popular culture thanks to Apple, which introduced emoji to its iOS mobile operating system in the mid-2000s and relied on emoticons to communicate on social networks. Although in Japan, Shigetaki Kurichi’s invention took root instantly.
How emoji work
A set of unicode is hidden behind the graphic image of emoji. For example, the default smiley face is U + 1F642. Sad – U + 1F641. Unicode itself is a character encoding standard that includes characters from almost every language in the world. Including combinations for emoji standards are selected in it. One of the technical developers of the Unicode specifications, Davis Mark, also founded the Unicode Consortium – it is the Consortium that decides what the updated or new emoji will look like. Everything about emoji – how many there will be, how they look and which ones to add more – is determined by the Unicode advice. All emojis are adapted for different services and operating systems. For example, the same emoji on iOS and Twitter may look slightly different.
“People suggest to us which emoji to add, and then a special committee considers their suggestions. Each October, we review the list of candidates, highlight the highest priority candidates, and note which ones will be added to Unicode next June, ” Mark Davis
How do I suggest my emoji?
Can I create my own emoji and implement it worldwide? Technically speaking, you can. The process of adding new emoji to Unicode is an open and public process, and everyone in the world can create their own emoji and submit it to the Unicode Consortium for approval.
There is no need to write code for this – it is enough to draw the drawing of a new emoji and fill out a large questionnaire. For greater transparency and standardization, a special document was created in Unicode with all the listed factors for selecting new emoticons. Follow this link to review the rules for applying for a new emoji. For example, they will definitely not accept emojis with brand logos, images of specific people, buildings and landmarks. Plus, emoticons should be out of fashion and time – if they reflect a trend, they are likely to reject it.
There are also principles for encoding emoji.
And in general, it is not enough just to create an emoticon. You need to create an application – a sample is also available on the original Unicode site. It is important to argue why the proposed emoji is really needed by a large number of people and the most popular social networks. You also need to investigate and check the frequency of requests for your emoticon across several Google and Bing services.
There are many requirements, but thousands of applications are submitted every year. Moreover, if you were still refused, then you cannot re-send the same emoji for consideration for another two years.
The choice of emoji that will end up in the use of social networks does not just happen. The Consortium annually gathers a committee of 12 members. Among them are representatives of the largest digital corporations such as Microsoft, Adobe, Apple, Google, Facebook, Shopify and Netflix.
If you really want to create something of your own, but you feel that there is not enough resource, you can unite with other initiative people. For example, the Emojination resource also collects applications from everyone, and then the creators of the resource draw emojis and form an annual Unicode application.
Is it possible to embed emojis into the site?
Of course! All emojis, standard and open unicode set, are composed of a code point containing hexadecimal code + U. You can insert emoji into HTML that supports the UTF-8 character set format just like any other text content. You can use the original hexadecimal code in HTML, or convert it to decimal escaped format.
Here you will find a complete list of unicode for each emoji, here is a complete list of HTML codes for all emoji, and here is a detailed instruction on how to insert emoji into your website.
All emojis in the world
If you first found out about emoji (well, suddenly) or still did not understand the dispute – this is a prayer or “high five”, then go to the Emojipedia resource . There is information, decryption and date of appearance of all emoticons. It will come in handy in case of digital misunderstanding with the interlocutor or simply help to understand the variety of emoji.
Want to be on trend – check out the Emojitracker counter . Here you can see in real time how and what emoji are being used on Twitter right now.