Believe it or not, people are very interested in studying the science of emojis.
What are the top emojis? What are emojis anyways?
The history of emojis dates back a few decades to the advent of modern computers.
Now, Twitter has emoji support and you can even use animated or “live” emojis in your texts.
Let’s look at how we got here and where emojis are going.
What Are Emojis and Where Did They Come From?
Many people think that emojis are the advanced versions of emoticons. This logic makes sense: as the world transitioned to smart phones and high-tech devices, it was only a matter of time before emoticons got a fresh makeover.
However, this isn’t the case. In fact, emojis and emoticons have two very different histories. What is an emoji and where did they come from?
Emoticons use punctuation marks to represent feelings or facial expressions.
A computer scientist at Carnegie Mellon University, Scott Fahlman, is the first known person to type an emoticon back in 1982. What did Scott type? “: – )” and “: – (” These are what’s known as ASCII emoticons.
However, other researchers believe the first recorded emoticon dates back even further to PLATO computer systems in 1972. These emoticons were actually much more advanced than the versions that Scott would type in the early 80s. They included small pixelated formations of animals, faces, aliens, and objects – and dozens of them.
Scotts emoticons looked a lot more primitive than what the developers at PLATO came up with.
While Western countries would type their emoticons sideways for the next three decades or so, the Japanese quickly advanced in 1986. This is when kaomojis were born. These are somewhat unsettling to users who have only experienced sideways emoticons and emojis because they are very wide and strange.
You’re probably most familiar with the shrug: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.
The creepy ones, however, are called “Lenny:” ( ͡⚆ل͜ ͡⚆) and ( ͡◉◞ ͜ʖ◟ ͡◉)
Anyways, we were stuck with using these to express our emotions through text for nearly 30 years.
What Is an Emoji Exactly?
That’s when emojis finally came along. What is an emoji exactly?
The emojis we now know and love (or hate) surfaced in 1999 when they were first included in Japanese phones. They wouldn’t make an impact though until 2010 when they became fairly standard on mobile operating systems.
These are very different than typographic expressions because they are little images instead of typeface: just click a button and you have an emotion to express yourself.
As more and more people only communicate through text messages and emails, emojis have become vital for expressing sadness, content, joy, and a broad range of other emotions. In the past few years, emojis have advanced drastically to include nearly every country’s flag and just about any activity you can possibly imagine.
Not only that, but several emojis have double meanings (this blog won’t cover the dirty ones).
- Nail painting emoji: Painting your nails OR gleefully apathetic
- Frog emoji: Actual frog OR calling someone ugly OR smugness (especially when combined with coffee emoji)
- Coffee emoji: Drinking coffee OR smugness
- Skull emoji: Laughing so hard you died (has anyone ever used this one for face value?)
- Fire emoji: Actual fire OR something is awesome
How to Use Live Emojis
Due to their popularity, emojis get yet another upgrade this year: animated or live emojis. You’ll first see these new emojis on the updated iPhone operating systems.
You now have a few live emojis to choose from such as a lion, bear, skull, unicorn, and even poop. Why they chose to start with animals and creatures instead of faces no one will know. Maybe it’s because of how live emojis are used: the facial recognition system transforms the emoji to express your actual emojis like an animated avatar.
Did they think expressing yourself through animals was less creepy than a yellow blob? Maybe, but it’s still weird.
Whatever expressions you make, the live emoji will follow. You can also use the live emojis for singing karaoke.
The Top Emojis of 2018 (Tracking Twitter Emoji Use)
Everyone has their favorite, but what are the top emojis?
To celebrate World Emoji Day (July 17th), Emojipedia decided to look at the top emojis used across Twitter. A Twitter emoji is easier to track and pull data. It’s probably impossible (and illegal) to track emoji use across text messages and cell phones.
So, what’s the top emoji? If you guessed crying laughing you’re right.
Unbelievably, poop emoji also ranks in a top spot. Other favorites include heart eyes, red heart, grinning face, smiling face with sunglasses, party popper, smiling face with smiling eyes, and thumbs up. As far as top emojis in the object category go, coffee wins hands down.