People worldwide ❤️to 😁. The crying-laughing face 😂is the world’s most popular emoji. Every day, people send billions of emojis via emails, text messages, and social media posts. More than 3,000 of the cartoon-like symbols exist.
The word emoji means “picture characters” in Japanese. The symbols date back to the 1980s, when people used sideways smiley faces like this : - ) in chat rooms. In 1999, Shigetaka Kurita, a Japanese artist working at a mobile phone company, designed a set of characters that included objects (like a TV—📺) and emotions (such as a broken heart—💔). His 176 original icons were the first emojis—and the creation of a new digital language.
Every year, an organization called the Unicode Consortium reviews proposals for new emojis. Then it decides which will be made available. Last year, 117 new emojis were approved, including the black cat emoji and the people hugging emoji . Which is your favorite?