World Emoji Day is celebrated to highlight the importance using emojis to communicate in our daily lives. Be it a thumbs up for a job well done or a heart to send someone your love, emojis have become an almost essential of expressing our feelings on social media or via messages. To encourage the use of emoji, World Emoji Day is celebrated on 17 July every year.
History of emojis:
Before emojis, people used emoticons to express themselves clearly while texting. Emojis, which roughly mean “picture word” in Japanese were created by Shigetaka Kurita in 1990. While he was working for the Japanese telecom company NTT Docomo, he would design these emojis as a feature on the company’s pager in order to make them more popular with users.
Shigetaka Kurita created around 176 emojis for the release of a mobile integrated service i-mode, according to a report in the Financial Express.
The feature gained even more popularity after the launch of the first model of the Apple iPhone in 2007. The phone had an emoji keyboard embedded into the device to make it popular with Japanese users. The feature soon began to be used by non-Japanese users as well.
In 2010, Unicode finally approved the standardised usage of emojis. After that platforms like Google, Twitter, Microsoft and Facebook began creating their own set of ‘picture words’.
In 2014, Jeremy Burge of Emojipedia established World Emoji Day to highlight the increasing use of this 'picture words'. The date was chosen as 17 July because this is the date displayed in the calendar emoji. On this very day in 2002, iCal for Mac was announced.
There are about 3,633 emojis in the Unicode Standard as of September 2021, according to Emojipedia. Over 21 percent of all tweets now contain at least one emoji. This indicates the increasing importance of emojis in our communications. These ‘picture words’ also make it easier for us to communicate with our loved ones and express ourselves more clearly over mediums which do not have face-to-face or voice contact, like text messaging.
To inculcate the use of emojis more and to celebrate their necessity in communication, World Emoji Day continues to be celebrated worldwide.
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