The name Emoji came from the Japanese words for picture and character.

Emojis are being used in many text messages, on emails and on the Internet. They have become so popular that there are currently 1,851 standard emojis. This year alone it is estimated that 2.8 trillion emojis will be sent. The demand is so great that we can expect more designs in the future. Of all the designs, the most popular are the smiley face emojis. The main users of emojis are not fond of things like a specific breed of dog but they really like the cartoon dog face created similar to the smiley face emojis. Emojis have become so popular that brands are creating their own versions of emojis. The least liked and used emojis are flags, travel, activities, objects, animals in general, and nature.

Emojis were initially used by Japanese mobile operators. These companies each defined their own variants of emojis using proprietary standards. The first emoji was created in 1998 or 1999 in Japan by Shigetaka Kurita, who was part of the team working on a mobile Internet platform. Kurita took inspiration from weather forecasts that used symbols to show weather. Kurita created the first 180 emojis based on the expressions that he observed people making and other things in the city.

In 1997, Nicolas Loufrani recognized the growth of images and he started experimenting with animated smiley faces. Loufrani created the first graphical emoticons and compiled an online “emoticon dictionary” that was sorted into separate categories: Classics, Moods, Expressions, Flags, Celebrations, Fun, Sports, Weather, Animals, Food, Nations, Occupations, Planets, Zodiac, and Babies. These designs were first registered in 1997 at The United States Copyright Office and then these icons were posted as .gif files on the Web in 1998, becoming the first graphical emoticons used in technology.

In 2000, the Emoticon Directory created by Loufrani was made available for users to download for cellular phones on the Internet through smileydictionary.com, which compiled over 1000 smiley graphic emoticons and their ASCII versions. This same directory was then published in 2002 in a book called Dico Smileys. In 2001 the Smiley Company started licensing the rights for Loufrani’s graphic emoticons to be used for cellular phone emoticon downloads by a variety of different telecommunication companies.

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