Written by Thai Sirikoone
In 2015, was Oxford Dictionaries’ word of the year. In the same year, according to tech company SwiftKey’s findings, it was also found to be the most used emoji all around the world.
It’s not a word. It’s an emotion personified.
Obviously, many criticized and poked fun at decision, and with good reason.
However, it was an extremely wise decision, on the part of Oxford Dictionaries, to acknowledge the power and meaning of emojis as a new age communication tool.
Emojis say a lot with very little.
Implication is everything when it comes to communication, and it is especially hard to discern implication in text. Perhaps double especially when it comes to online text.
More importantly, emojis allow people to show emotions through in a way that has never been done before. Clarity of intent is neatly displayed with a cute emoji, and can enhance a conversation if used properly. Simply sending a heart can mean just as much as saying ‘I love you,’ or ‘that mean thing I said was meant to be endearing.’
As a matter of fact, many businesses and marketers are taking advantage of emojis to maximize user engagement and audience building.
Twitter has recognized the emotional power of emojis and is now engaged in advertisement targeting “based on [users] expressed sentiment.” This can perhaps be seen as a dubious move on Twitter’s part due to how useful emojis are on their platform, on account of the 140 character restriction.
Of course, emojis have a unique history compared to other mass communication tools, but it may only get weirder. Emoji usage has no signs of slowing.
On top of that, new emojis are still being added, such as the taco. That emoji inherently benefits companies like Taco Bell, a company that uses emojis very well, and lovers of tacos alike.
Maybe they’ll do a spring roll emoji, that way I can tell my friends what I want to eat with one touch!
Cover photo by Theus Falcão / CC