Smile, it’s World Emoji Day!

Tomorrow – on July 17 we celebrate world emoji day! Can you imagine what your messages and informal emails would be without using emojis in the text? They would be just a cold, indifferent piece of information exchanged between two or more parties

smiling emojis

We already take emojis as an integral part of our digital style and culture. Those tiny symbolic icons help us “humanize” communication over the internet – when we cannot see the faces or hear the voices of the people with whom we chat or exchange emails. After all, thanks to them, you can show your emotions in the written medium.

A short history of Emojis

As the internet and communications technologies have evolved, so did the use of emojis. At the very beginning, it was just text bits of ASCII art, then static emoticons appeared, which turned gradually into full-fledged animated faces and symbols.


Emoticons – the predecessors of emojis stand for emotion+icon. They were developed as textual expressions of emotions because people who used the new technologies needed a tool to show their feeling, especially when communicating in written form.


The name emoji comes from the Japanese language meaning something similar to a picture character. It was used for the first time in the early 90s by a Japanese telecom company NTT Docomo. These cute picture characters were designed as an innovative feature of the pagers ( a small device that allowed users to communicate only via short text messages) to make them more attractive for the teens.

mobile pager


Over time more companies started adding emoticons into their devices or applications. In 2000, a library of over 1000 smiley emojis was released into the world, establishing these graphics as a must-have feature for any device, software program, or app that allows communication via text messages.

Nowadays, every year new emojis are developed and the list of style themes and characters grows constantly. Over 1800 emojis exist at the moment, and they cover much more than just feelings. You can find a graphic symbol for almost anything from animals, vehicles, food to sports, weather, country flags, and many more. In their specific way, emojis represent our everyday life, and with their help, we can make our written communication more fun and personal.

Why July 17?

calendar emoji

According to emojipedia.org the date July 17 honors the only date that was representable using emojis in 2014 (the first year in which the world emoji day was celebrated). 

Back then, mainly Apple devices used a calendar picture with the marked date 17.07. The story tells that Apple’s calendar emoji shows July 17 to mimic their Calendar (iCal) app, which shows the same date. And why July 17 – because iCal was introduced at the Macworld Expo on July 17, 2002. 

Later many more platforms and programs accepted the calendar emoji with this exact date, including Google, Twitter, Samsung.

In the beginning, the world emoji date was hardly celebrated – mainly among cyber communities. Gradually its popularity rose, and it was related to emoji news, announcements of new image releases. Also, people were encouraged to use excessively emojis throughout this day. 

On July 17, 2017, as a symbol of recognition, the Empire State Building was lit emoji yellow. Next year the Musical movie “Emonjiland” premiered on World Emoji Day.

people using emojis

There are even World Emoji Awards each year divided into three main categories:

Most Popular New Emoji for 2021: 

🥇 —  ❤️‍🔥 Heart on fire

🥈 —  😵‍💫 Face with Spiral Eyes

Most Anticipated Emoji:

🥇 – melting face emojipedia Melting face

🥈 – face peeking eye emojipedia Face with Peeking Eye

🥉 – saluting face emojipedia Saluting face

Most 2021 Emoji:

The winner is the syringe 💉 (used to represent the vaccine optimism) to beat the Microbe emoji 🦠 (used when discussing the Coronavirus).*

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Most Popular New Emoji for 2020: 

🥇 —  🤍 White Heart 

🥈 —  🥱 Yawning Face

🥉 —  🤎 Brown Heart

Most Anticipated Emoji:

🥇 – Smiling face with a tear

🥈 – Transgender flag

🥉 – Pinched fingers

Most 2020 Emoji:

The winner is the Raised Fist emoji ✊🏿 (used to represent the #BlackLivesMatter movement) alongside the Microbe emoji 🦠 (used when discussing the Coronavirus outbreak).*

worldemojiawards.com

You use them every day, and so does everybody else. Emojis are part of our messages, posts, chats, and any other written communication. They are an important part because they make our texts more vital as if we are speaking to the other person face-to-face.


You can celebrate World Emoji Day by sending your friends messages with no words but just different emojis. You have a wide range to choose from so that they can decode the true meaning behind the symbols. And do not forget to put a smiley face and a big heart at the end – after all, it is the most pleasant emotion one can express!

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