With the explosion of social media in people’s everyday lives, the use of emojis has taken on a life of its own. Originally meaning pictograph, the word emoji comes from Japanese e (絵, “picture”) + moji (文字, “character”). They first appeared on Japanese phones as early as the late 90’s, but have basically become the first language born from the digital world in which we live. They gained popularity when Apple released their iOS 6 update and owners had access to the emoji keyboard. Soon they made their way on to social media platforms, and are even making appearances in the corporate world. The word emoji is actually included in the Oxford English Dictionary. All of this is to say – it is important to understand how emojis can be interpreted.

Now, we aren’t going to sit here and tell you that emojis are going to take over the English language.

We will tell you that the younger generation is fully on board, so everyone else might as well embrace them.

As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. This may sound far fetched, but it really is a big reason why emojis have gained so much popularity. Someone can express general pleasure or humor simply by hitting ?on your phone. People can ask each other what’s for dinner just by adding ?️. You can even create sentences with emojis. ??? = Read It and Weep. Some people might be having full conversations with emojis and don’t even realize it.

Parents also need to understand what their children are expressing through emojis. You might see this on your kids device – ?? and someone is telling your child that no one cares. A lot of children are using ? to insinuate someone being ugly. Having a basic understanding is at least a starting point in regards to talking with your children. 

Law enforcement officials have learned that emojis can sometimes be used as code for individuals looking to commit crimes. ? is typical used when referring to marijuana. ? might be used to trying to solicit unwelcome sexual requests. It all might sound crazy, but this is the world we live in.

Emojis can also be funny, and can add some creativity to your marketing efforts. Deadpool used emojis for an outdoor campaign to promote the release of the movie.

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Dominoes wanted to figure out a way to appeal to a younger audience. They implemented a tweet-to-order system using emojis. Basically someone would tweet them the pizza emoji, followed by a DM from Domino’s to confirm the order. 

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These are just a couple of examples of companies thinking outside-the-box and using emojis in their marketing campaigns.

Emojis are just a product of the changing times. In a way they are similar to technology. You either get on board with it or get left behind. Nobody really knows what the distant future holds when it comes to the evolution of emojis. What we do know is that they are here, very prevalent in today’s world, and unlikely to go anywhere anytime soon.