Driving Forward > Digital Marketing Blog

Emoji 101

By

Last week we discussed the recent release of Facebook’s “Empathy” button, which turned out to be six emoji-based buttons called “Reactions”, and what the general response has been. These Reactions will give users more options to express their opinions on the social media platform, rather than the one-size-does-not-fit-all Like button that has been Facebook’s default since February 2009. Today we look deeper into emojis themselves, their history, and some current facts and figures about their usage. Additionally, we will briefly touch on emoticons and stickers, which are often called emojis, but are in fact different.

 

History of Emojis:

There is no clear evidence pinpointing exactly who invented the emoticon or when, but it is generally accepted that Scott Fahlman was responsible for the emoticon’s first digital appearance. In 1982 the Carnegie Mellon University faculty member suggested, on a digital message board discussion, that members use a smiley emoticon  : – )  to distinguish humorous posts from serious ones. However, emoticons didn’t begin to see their full potential until fifteen years later, thanks to a Frenchman living in London. Nicolas Loufrani, of the London-based company Smiley, recognized that animated ASCII emoticons would provide an enhanced interactive user experience in digital, and he compiled a comprehensive online emoticon dictionary that was sorted into separate categories, such as mood expressions, celebrations, food, etc. This dictionary was registered with the United States Copyright Office in October 1997 by Loufrani and his father and Smiley business partner, Franklin Loufrani.

At around the same time in Japan,  Shigetaka Kurita began designing what would become the first emojis for the 1999 release of the i-mode, the world’s first major mobile internet system. However, the beginning of widespread usage can likely be linked to the adoption of emoticons by mobile phone manufacturers. In 2001 Loufrani’s creations were licensed by Samsung, Nokia, Motorola, and others, who later that year began offering them to their users.

Yet another variation of the emoji and emoticon, stickers first appeared in 2011. These were created by Korea’s top internet company, Naver, when the company was developing a messaging platform named Line. Similar to call and messaging app WhatsApp, LINE was developed in the months following the 2011 tsunami that affected Japan. Initially created as a solution for reaching friends and family during and after disasters, it grew to over 50M users in the first year, and with the edition of games and stickers, it is now at over 400M, and one of the most popular apps in Japan, particularly with teenagers.

 

Emojis Today:

Since those early days nearly 33 years ago, emojis, emoticons, and stickers have become uniquely embedded in our daily digital conversations. According to Swyft Media, “74 percent of people in the U.S. regularly use stickers, emoticons or emojis in their online communication, sending an average of 96 emojis or stickers per day.”  The reason for this explosion of emoji usage is that these creative characters help us to indicate our tones, express how we feel, and add humor to our digital conversations, where context can sometimes be lost due to the medium.

 

Did you Know:

We have gathered some cool facts and resources to help you better understand and use these graphics:

 

  • “Emojis”, “emoticons”, and “stickers” are not the same thing!
    As I mentioned above, though these terms are often used interchangeably, they differ based on how the characters are created and how/where they are made available for our usage:

 

Infographic explaining differences between Emoticons, Emojis, and Stickers.

 

  • Emojis are a universal language with rules.
    Rules to using emojis? Yes, but don’t worry, these rules are not set in stone and their adherence is usually followed subconsciously because the rules are largely intuitive. Computational linguist Tyler Schnoebelen found that emojis are consistently placed at the end of sentences or complete thoughts, and that users naturally respect linear time and action when choosing the order of operation for their emoji strings.

 

  • This universal language might replace internet slang.
    Instagram Software Engineer Thomas Dimson
    noticed that the rise of emoji usage has shown a corresponding decrease in the usage of internet slang. For example, acronyms such as “xoxoxoxo” are being replaced by  333.

 

Emoji and Internet Slang
Source: instagram-engineering.tumblr.com

 

Tune in next week for Part 3 of Emojis : How Marketers Can Use Emojis.

 

For more information on Emojis, please check out the following resources:


Overdrive Interactive is an award-winning digital marketing agency that helps leading companies compete and win in the online space. Founded in 2001, the agency has developed into an integrated digital shop that delivers brand building, customer acquisition and lead generation programs utilizing search marketing, social media marketing, online media buying, analytics and world class creative services.

Contact Us   

 

Social Media

original images

Standing Out From the Crowd – Owned Images In Search

By

The way people think and process information is changing. Now more than ever, photos and videos—rather than newspapers and books—are the world’s preferred methods of communication. Humans process information visually, and in today’s fast-paced world you have about 50 milliseconds to gain your audience’s attention and trust. The best tool for the job? Striking photographs…

Read the full article

Contact Us

Schedule a presentation. Tell us about your marketing goals. Find our offices. Or, just say hello. We would love to hear from you!

Contact Us   

Guide

Crafting the Customer Journey

Get Access!   

Video

Marketing Minute Video:
The Secret to Content Marketing in 2 Minutes

Learn the Secret to Content Marketing in 2 Minutes.

Get Access!   

Infographic

Demand Gen Infrastructure

Drive. Capture. Convert. Optimize. Drive traffic, capture leads, nurture prospects, and optimize for an ever increasing ROI.

Get Access!   

Archives

  • December 2018
  • November 2018
  • October 2018
  • August 2018
  • July 2018
  • June 2018
  • May 2018
  • April 2018
  • March 2018
  • February 2018
  • January 2018
  • December 2017
  • November 2017
  • October 2017
  • September 2017
  • August 2017
  • July 2017
  • June 2017
  • May 2017
  • April 2017
  • March 2017
  • February 2017
  • January 2017
  • December 2016
  • November 2016
  • October 2016
  • September 2016
  • August 2016
  • July 2016
  • June 2016
  • May 2016
  • April 2016
  • March 2016
  • February 2016
  • January 2016
  • December 2015
  • November 2015
  • October 2015
  • September 2015
  • August 2015
  • July 2015
  • June 2015
  • May 2015
  • April 2015
  • March 2015
  • February 2015
  • January 2015
  • December 2014
  • November 2014
  • October 2014
  • September 2014
  • August 2014
  • July 2014
  • June 2014
  • May 2014
  • April 2014
  • March 2014
  • February 2014
  • January 2014
  • December 2013
  • November 2013
  • October 2013
  • September 2013
  • August 2013
  • July 2013
  • June 2013
  • May 2013
  • April 2013
  • March 2013
  • February 2013
  • January 2013
  • December 2012
  • November 2012
  • October 2012
  • September 2012
  • August 2012
  • July 2012
  • June 2012
  • May 2012
  • April 2012
  • March 2012
  • February 2012
  • January 2012
  • December 2011
  • November 2011
  • October 2011
  • September 2011
  • August 2011
  • July 2011
  • June 2011
  • May 2011
  • April 2011
  • March 2011
  • February 2011
  • January 2011
  • December 2010
  • November 2010
  • October 2010
  • September 2010
  • August 2010
  • July 2010
  • June 2010
  • May 2010
  • April 2010
  • March 2010
  • February 2010
  • January 2010
  • December 2009
  • November 2009
  • October 2009
  • September 2009
  • August 2009
  • July 2009
  • June 2009
  • May 2009
  • April 2009
  • March 2009
  • February 2009
  • January 2009
  • December 2008
  • November 2008
  • October 2008
  • September 2008
  • August 2008
  • July 2008
  • June 2008
  • May 2008
  • April 2008
  • March 2008
  • February 2008
  • January 2008
  • December 2007
  • November 2007
  • October 2007
  • September 2007
  • August 2007
  • July 2007
  • June 2007
  • May 2007
  • April 2007
  • March 2007
  • February 2007
  • January 2007
  • September 2006
  • May 2006
  • September 2005