Emojis are mostly used as a communication tool for emotions. Receivers of the emojis interpret what the emojis from the sender convey. Over 6 billion emojis are sent daily while 90% of the online community makes use of them. Last year, New York's Museum of Modern Art added emojis as part of its historical collections. The new collection was mostly the original 176 emojis that were designed by Shigetaka Kurita who, in 1999, worked as a software engineer in Tokyo.

The creation of emojis

Kurita worked at NTT DoCoMo, one of the largest mobile telephone operators in Japan in the late 1990s.

While being involved in the making of an Internet browser system, he was forced to develop pictorial diagrams to make displaying more efficient because smartphone screens back then were too small.

This is how emojis were born.

He also thought using short messages was not enough as a mode of communication.

Users of the emojis were only limited to using 250 Emoji characters in an email. The main characters that were being conveyed by the first emojis were food, drinks, weather, moods, and feelings. He also designed the heart emoji himself. Emojis were later used by Japanese mobile phone operators Au and Softbank Mobile (formerly Vodafone).

Kurita first designed the emoji for the Japanese market. He never thought they would become so popular worldwide.

Kurita's favorite emoji is the smiling face and heart. The first emojis he created were inspired by the facial expressions of people he observed and things he saw in the city.

The use of emojis today

Today, emoji characters resemble images of familiar objects, animals, national flags, and different facial expressions.

The first Emoji conference was held on November 4, 2016 in San Francisco, California.

July 17th was named World Emoji Day.

SwiftKey, an input method on Android devices that predicts the next word you will type on your phone, found out that the face with tears of joy was the most popular emoji that is being used worldwide, while the heart and the heart-eyed face came second and third, respectively. Another study found out that French people use the heart emoji the most.

Happy emojis are used most by Australians, the French, and residents in the Czech Republic while more negative emojis are used by Mexicans, Colombians, Chileans, and Argentinians. Google added negative emoji support to its Jelly Bean Android operating system 4.3 back in July 2013.

The Emoji Movie will be unveiled on July 28 this year in the United States. It will be a computer-animated comedy film centered on an emoji named Gene. The "Oxford English Dictionary" added the word "emoji" to its list of words back in 2015.