From the SMS generation until today’s WhatsApp ‘tech-savvy’ gen, Emojis or emoticons are still the most fun & cute elements that connect with all age group users. But do we know that the first emoji was created 20 years ago? Let’s find out The Complete History of Emojis in this article.
For the millennials, emojis became a messaging fad soon after 2010, But the journey started in 1999 when a Japanese artist Shigetaka Kurita. Soon after the development team started to work on ‘i-mode’ (an early mobile internet platform of Japan’s mobile carrier, DOCOMO). To come up with something innovative was a challenge, and she took it over by designing 12 by 12 px images that got its place on the keyboard grid in the i-mode interface.
That was the small start Emoji got into the world of mobile networks, and touched a million users over the years. Originally in Kurita’s design, there were only 176 emojis which multiplied with more characters, symbols, and technology, due to the increasing crave and likability for the emojis.
The word Emoji was coined in Japan, as the first emoji came in Japanese mobile phones in 1997. The global popularity was reflected in the 2010s after it was introduced by many mobile operating systems. And today, it has become a major part of popular culture in the west and all over the world.
In 2015, Oxford Dictionary named ‘Face with Tears of Joy EMOJI’ the word of the year, which is symbolic of its acceptance & popularity all over.
Once the emoji factor took over Japan, and many other countries, where Japanese mobile phones were popularly used, people who didn’t know what they are they started to get intrigued with that variety of 12×12 px emoticons. For rival brands, Emoji was a must-to-have feature for brands like Apple, and they saw ‘Emoji’ as a great USP to sell their upgraded mobile devices. Also, in 2007 a software internationalization team of Google was determined to take this to another level. The petition to get emoji recognized till then only by Unicode Consortium (a non-profit Group, works for text standards at a global level).
Unicode worked on the standardization of different languages, codes, as same to bring all at one level. On this, the Google team also argued the status and standard of emoji should fall into the same standard as well, which was earlier limited to only Japan. Thereafter, in 2009, a group of Apple engineers joined in the debate and submitted an official proposal to adopt 625 emoji characters into the Unicode standard.
This proposal was then accepted by Unicode in 2010, which was a welcoming signal for the EMOJIs to enter into the world of ‘Global accessibility’. Finally, Unicode allowed the indexing of emoji as a character for text messaging.
Now, that was the beginning of making emoji legit in every possible way globally. After this, there was no looking back.
In 2015, to find Emoji meanings of the symbols was a new cool thing every teenager was curious and excited about. Hence, that was the time, when Emojis received diverse updates, like same-sex couples emojis, new skin tones, single dad emoji, pride flag, and weightlifting woman emoji, etc.
In 2017, refined emoji proposals suggested having characters that can communicate convincingly the ‘no-boundary culture’ through this simple, cute, heartfelt emotion-based emojis. The purpose was to talk less and say more through these phenomenal emojis.
Even today, with so many emojis use, remain confused about Emoji and their meaning, but these are relevant and not going to go anywhere. Not only for the users but also as per the experts. There is so much to explore and know about humanity, expression, and communication. With new & improved versions Apple is going to come up with new ones to attract the millennials.
Writer – Mini Jain