The Without Dictionary (affiliate) by Lilian Stolk is an extensive and pleasantly readable Dutch standard work on the meaning of the emoji (culture). Stolk describes in her book how, long before the emoji saw the light, the yellow smiley was born in the US. Graphic designer Harvey Ball ( though Hollywood gave this a different spin ), signed the roguish face in 1963 for $45 for an insurance company that wanted to boost morale among its employees. He called it the smiley.
The design was successively Chile Phone Numbers embraced by the hippie movement, 80s pop culture and acid house and managed to survive for decades. In the eighties there is also professor Fahlman who one evening has an e-mail discussion with colleagues about the ARPAnet, forerunner of the internet. In their latest message, they joke about a free fall from an elevator at the faculty. To make sure their colleagues don’t mistake this message for a serious report in the morning, Fahlman closes it with a :-). With that, the emoticon (a combination of emotion and icon) was officially born as an internet language. In other words, the smiley made of punctuation marks.
In Japan, the emojis have been popular for years before we just sent one here. Kurita’s set can only be used on devices that support the Japanese characters. And they are mainly Japanese.
One thing is certain, we are sending more and more emojis worldwide. The use is increasing every year. Just like the amount of emojis we can choose from and the domains we use emojis on. The number of emojis you can choose from is now 3633.
Since its inception, Emojipedia annually surveys which emojis are most used on Twitter. The use is still growing just as fast.