World Emoji Day

Express yourself with emojis on #WorldEmojiDay. Source: Pixabay

17 July is World Emoji Day, a day that recognises and celebrates many of the world's symbolic icons for digital calendars.

Before the emoji, we had emoticons (emotion + icon) which were actually developed as an expression of emotion in the cold hard texts that were devoid of it.

The Japanese expression – emoji – roughly means picture word. The emoji was developed by Shigetaka Kurita in 1990. He designed these pictures during his employment at a Japanese telecom company called NTT Docomo. His aim was to use the emojis on their pagers, to make them more appealing to teens.

When Apple released the first iPhone in 2007, an emoji keyboard was embedded to nab the Japanese market. This feature was not intended for US users, but they found the keyboard and quickly figured out how to use it.

Emojipedia's founder, Jeremy Burge, created World Emoji Day in 2014. The date of 17 July was chosen because of the iconic red and black Apple calendar emoji.

New emojis (both emoji and emojis are acceptable plural forms of the word) are being developed all the time. The website,, keeps track of all the updates across all platforms and operating systems, and currently, there are more than 1 800 emojis covering much more than just emotions. These emojis range from transportation, food, a variety of wild and domesticated animals, to social platforms, weather and bodily functions – and all of them speak for themselves.

Celebrate by exploring the different emojis. Send them to your friends and family members to express yourself today.

Use #WorldEmojiDay to post on social media.

Adéle Bloem

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