From my own personal experience, I have found that emoji’s bring text messages to life and help convey tone. Learning that emoticons are only 34 years old made me want to investigate their evolution and history.
The first emoticon was used by Scott Fahlman when he proposed using 🙂 after a joke instead of the original -). This was the start to the development of the modern emoji.
A great explanation of the differences between an emoticon and emoji, as well as the development of the modern emoji over the years can be found at: http://www.iemoji.com/articles/where-did-emoji-come-from?page=0
The very first emoji was born in a Japanese research facility because mobile operators were struggling to supply broadband that could support the needs of some 80 million users of the rapidly growing technology.
The graduation from the emoticon to the emoji was due to the fact that people had begun sending picture messages which took up enormous amounts of broadband width, backing up the systems. There had to be a simpler way to express emotion.
In 2007, the Iphone was released and Steve Jobs took a trip to Japan to promote the new product. He had little luck selling because of the superior Japanese technology. Jobs paired up with Softbank to create the emojis which appeared on the next Iphone.
Why do you think emojis have become so successful and popular in digital communication? What is your most used emoji on your keyboard and what do you think that says about you? What is your opinion on the introduction of different race choices for people emojis? What do you think the future of emojis could be?