It is the World Emoji Day! New York’s Empire State Building will be lit up in yellow to mark a day that organizers hope will put a smile on millions of faces. Like seriously, who wouldn’t smile at that?
London’s Royal Opera House will present 20 well-known operas and ballets in emoji form online the World Emoji Day, which celebrates the colorful symbols used in instant messages, on 17 July.
There are 2,666 emojis currently on the official Unicode Standard list.
The Unicode consortium lays out the framework for emojis and decides what should be depicted, but companies such as Apple and Google are free to create their own designs.
This year, Twitter is expected to crowdsource ideas for new emojis.
Speaking of the release of emojis, the founder of World Emoji Day, Jeremy Burge said the consortium considered hundreds of applications for new emojis every year.
“You can’t buy your way in – and it makes companies mad, you need to fulfil criteria. There has to be demand for it. Brands or logos are not permitted.”
Some celebrities, including Kim Kardashian, Justin Bieber, and in Nigeria, Toyin Aimaku, have launched their own range of icons for fans to purchase although Mr Burge warned that consumers should be aware that they have limitations, emphasizing that kimojis, Justmojis and in the case of Toyn Aimaku, Teemojis are just stickers, they don’t work in every app, you need to download them.
Emojis have been around since the 1990s and Apple first included them in its iPhone keyboard in 2011.
The first World Emoji Day took place in 2014. The date – 17 July – was chosen because it is the date which appears on the emoji for “calendar”.
Mr Burge, who also works at the emoji search engine Emojipedia, said he did not accept any sponsorship for the event.
Despite their popularity, emojis are unlikely to replace written language and be recognized as a language in their own right, Dr. Laura Dominguez, associate professor of linguistics at the University of Southampton said.
stressing that the purposes of language are communication and thought, she said; “You need language to think. Can you think in emojis? I would imagine that even people who use them a lot to communicate probably don’t use them when they are thinking.”
According to the digital keyboard firm Swiftkey, it analyzed 400 million bits of “emoji data” through which it discovered that the most used emoji of 2016 in the UK was the one of a face crying with laughter, second was a face blowing a kiss, with a red heart third most popular.
Maybe you could try communicating all day today with only the use of emojis to celebrate the World Emoji Day, what do you think?