Where Did Emojis Come From?

woman chat using emoji

Emojis are a major part of texting and messaging in today’s world. They allow people to share quick updates or express their actions and likes without having to apologize for misleading comments. Do you know how and why emojis even came about? Here’s a look at the history of the emoji for a bit of fun.

Shigetaka Kurita Thought of the People

While working for a large Japanese mobile company called DoCoMo, Shigetaka Kurita wanted to find a way for people to send pictures without using up their data. This led to the creation of the Emoji in 1998. It used a character or two, so the message wouldn’t be confused as a multimedia one. Phones would view the message as a standard text, saving money and time.

The Emoji was not the same as the Emoticon. Emojis are pictures that people send. They can even be real pictures. Emoticons are characters used together to create an expression or face.

You may find pictures like bowing businessmen, food, masks, and more. They all have Japanese feelings, but there are some changes coming. More Americanised and British images are being added, including glasses of wine, burgers, and even piles of poo!

Emojis Only Became Popular Because of the iPhone

If it wasn’t for Apple, the emoji wouldn’t have gained much traction in the United States. It was Apple that created the unicode for the iPhone, which Google, Twitter and more were able to take and develop for themselves. Now people can send and receive emojis on their phones and through email or social media without any hassle at all. This all started in 2010! It took more than a decade for the emoji to become mainstream.

And Apple didn’t even stop there. When iOS 8.3 came out, the iPhone made it possible for people to change the color of skin on their emojis. Those yellow Simpson-like faces could become white or black—and anything in between. Diversity came to the phones and people loved it.

Apple also made it possible for families to have different make-ups. Those who were in same-sex relationships were able to show through their symbols. Family sizes changed and grew, and more professions with both male and female emojis were available.

Not all companies will offer the diverse range available on the iPhone. This is because the companies have their own types of unicode and are able to create the images they want.

Moving Onto GIF Emojis

Companies now don’t just have standard characters for basic images. The emojis are now available as GIFs—in other words, they have an action that repeats. They’re similar to cartoon videos, but the action is extremely short. In some cases, the action only happens once or you have to roll the mouse over to get it going again.

The GIF emojis are popular to show just how important an emotion is or to stress the action clearly. They can also make having conversations on the iPhone or Facebook through emojis much easier.

And yes, people are conversing purely through the images. They don’t use words and let the pictures do the talking. It can help speed up the process of replying, and they don’t create the problems that using text speak or acronyms does. Most of the time, there is no confusion over what the images are.