It’s World Emoji Day! But just where did they come from!?

Last updated on 18th August 2017

It’s World Emoji Day today ! Everyone on Twitter is having some fun playing with Emoji. Forth 1’s Boogie & Marty are playing Emoji Connect 4

The Royal Opera House played Guess the Emoji Opera/Ballet

Some people even dressed up as Emoji to attempt to break a world record!

Where did these all come from though? What the hell does Emoji mean?

Well the good news is I have the answer to both those questions and more.

In 1999 Japanese mobile users were using more and more photos in messages causing mobile operators to struggle to handle to the load. A Japanese mobile operator was the first to allow users to use pictures of regularly used expressions called pictographs or Emoji. That same mobile network came up with a way to send them without sending a picture – Codes. For example they could use 🙂 which is an emoticon and translate it to Emoji, some devices may not, or the current standard is to use HEX codes and the device translates these to the Emoji so if I type


in HTML you’ll see

So why did they take off? reports that after the first iPhone was released Steve Jobs visited Japan where the mobile market was 80 million users at that time. The original iPhone though was missing several features that the Japanese market had become accustomed to over the years and one was the emoji. The rest as they say is history, one company negotiated a deal to get emoji on all Japanese versions of the iPhone and in 2009 the craze broke out. There are over 200 emoji with the latest Unicode update expected to come to the iPhone and Android in the coming months. Apple today announced the look of some of the new emoji with this being my personal favourite

My personal favourite of the new Emoji
Apple’s 2017 Emoji Design
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