There was a time, not too long ago, when I’d be pretty annoyed at using an emoji. My wife loves them, but when she sent me a text message my phone wouldn’t be able to understand it and I’d just get a stack of question marks where the smiley faces should be.
So, instead of a funny message saying, “Are you late again? 😉 ;)”, it’d instead read “Are you late again? ??? ???”. I’d take it all the wrong way and we’d end up having a row about it later.
Messages are tricky. Sending an old-school text message has never been the same as actually talking to someone. Likewise, I prefer to actually go and speak to people in the office instead of emailing. It’s so easy for emails to be misconstrued. People can think that you’re being awkward when you don’t mean to be etc.
A recent Meltwater survey found that 84 % of female emoji users and 75 % of male ones felt emojis better expressed how they were feeling than words alone. It’s no longer just a “cute” and “fun” thing to do, it actually helps to convey feelings and emotions better in messaging and emails. Plus, with the rise and rise of WhatsApp, we’re all more comfortable with sending a little picture of a wine glass or a football to indicate, in one quick image, what we mean.
I’ve therefore started using the Google Keyboard a lot more recently. Whilst it perhaps doesn’t have every emoji under the sun, there’s a sizeable selection and it’s definitely more fun than a standard message. However, and again thanks to WhatsApp, I’m sending more actual pictures now. Video too. It’s a bit of a data “hit” but, when I’m on my WiFi at home it’s no big impact.
Meanwhile, if you’re a Facebook-er, you’ve probably clicked a few “just-for-fun” quizzes where you need to name now-defunct products from the 90s or child stars who disappeared from the spotlight. Emojis are quickly transforming the online quiz craze, like this fun celebrity emoji quiz from Wink Slots. People respond strongly to visuals, making them a smart choice to really engage quiz takers.
Meanwhile, in China, a class at the University of Electronic Science and Technology in Chengdu had to write out 1,000 different emojis as a way to say they were sorry for being late. their tardiness. Most people could come up with a dozen or so before having to stop and think about it. But a thousand? That’s tough. Meanwhile, consumer goods giant Proctor & Gamble is leading the charge to have more female-empowered emojis developed for use. The company funded a survey that found 82 % of females aged 16 to 24 use at least one emoji per day and that 75 % wanted more variety in their options.