Are Emojis Becoming the New Universal ‘Language’?

Since 2011, when they first became widely available, emojis—the colourful the winks, smileys, lovehearts, and so on embedded as glyphs in our digital keyboards—have taken the world by storm. An emoji , or ‘picture character’, from the Japanese, is a visual representation of a feeling, idea, entity, status or event.

The first emojis were developed in the late 1990s in Japan for use in the world’s first mobile phone internet system. There were originally 176, but this figure mushroomed during the 2000s, particularly in the Japanese mobile computing sector. In 2009, the California-based Unicode Consortium, which specifies the international standard for the representation of text across modern digital computing and communication platforms, sanctioned 722 emojis. These Unicode-approved emojis became available to software developers by 2010. A few more were added in 2012, and in June 2014, Unicode added over 270 more. In 2016, a further 38 will be added, including emojis for bacon and even clinking champagne glasses.

Read more: Newsweek

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