An avocado, a fist pump and a clown – how emoji is now the UK’s fastest growing language

By Holly Rees, Account Director

Imagine a world without emojis…have you thought about it? And, how do you think it would look? I think it would look pretty bland, kind of like the early noughties when the best thing about your mobile phone was the snake game and everything was in a dull grey kind of colour.

According to Professor Vyv Evans of Bangor University, Emoji is now the fastest growing language in the UK and evolving faster than ancient forms of communication, such as hieroglyphics. In our busy lives, sometimes an emoji says a thousand words. They have become part of our everyday language and just think how would we express ourselves if it wasn’t for the ‘crying-laughing face’ at a great joke or the monkey covering his mouth at something just a little controversial!?

Well, good news for all you emoji lovers – The Unicode Consortium, the official body responsible for setting a standard of characters across the computing industry (who knew such a thing existed), has approved 72 new emojis set to be released later this month. HOORAY! (insert ‘Hands in the Air’ emoji here). The new images, which will add to the 1,601 already in existence.

And the best part is there are some really good ones. I mean, how could there not have been an avocado emoji before!? And now we can use a green sick face instead of the face with the mask. But the best one has to be the fist pump! I am smiling just thinking about it.

Emojis are hot news this week as, Facebook has also announced it is adding a new set of diverse emojis to its Messenger app. It’s introducing the first female police officer, runner, pedestrian, surfer and swimmer on any platform in a bid to be more representative of the world people actually live in.

According to developers, nearly 10{20156fe61baea400d2663eb990f17abdabeb6ef183a2129287a793abd8ac1d8a} of mobile sends in Messenger include emojis but not all platforms have kept up with emoji standards as they’ve evolved, meaning sometimes the emoji you wanted to send wasn’t the one that showed up. Nor are they living up to the diversity that we see in our world every day.

More than 1,500 new designs will be introduced including dozens of gender-agnostic and multi-coloured options. Messenger will also have emojis representing red heads for the first time. Heck, there will even be one to represent women working in tech! Hopefully this should help combat the feeling that emojis are sexist as recent statistics show that 48{20156fe61baea400d2663eb990f17abdabeb6ef183a2129287a793abd8ac1d8a} of 16-24 year old girls believe that female emojis are stereotypical and feel underrepresented by the current characters on offer. Girls send over a billion emojis every day and it’s fair to say we just don’t want to be seen as bunny girls and painting our nails.

However, it’s not all been good news in emoji world this week. It’s been reported that Sony is in a battle over merchandise trademark rights. Marco Husges, a former video game executive from Germany, has created more than 3,000 of his own emoji icons and trademarked and licensed them for use in an array of merchandise through his company The Emoji Co. Husges believes Sony’s yet-to-be-titled emoji movie, slated to be released in 2017, may be in violation of his trademarks. Watch this space as the story develops (queue the new ‘face slap emoji’).

But it is not just tech companies cashing in on the emoji craze. Savvy celebrities are jumping on the bandwagon and launching their own emojis. Justin Bieber teased the upcoming release of his emoji app on Instagram. Bieber joins plenty of other artists and celebrities who have released their own set of emojis, including Future, Fetty Wap, and Amber Rose (whose new MuvaMojis app has reportedly already made $4million). Not to mention, Kim Kardashian, who was reportedly making one million dollars per minute after launching her Kimoji app. The ‘Keeping Up with the Kardashians’ star has added messaging graphic symbols of her husband Kanye West, their two-year-old daughter North and her younger half-sister Kylie Jenner to the line.

But emojis are not just about making money. A new emoji bible has translated the scripture for millennials. The new Bible translation “Bible Emoji: Scripture 4 Millenials” has been recently release for sale online, and it’s comprised of 3,000 pages of emoji and text retelling all 66 books of the Bible. The author had the idea to use emojis as a forward-facing approach to one of the most popular books in history. He claims that what makes emojis so great and part of the symbolism with this project is that emojis are universal in the strictest sense and have no gender, no race and no agenda.

As the emoji trend shows no sign of slowing down, I will keep my fingers crossed for a Welsh flag emoji and for Britney to bring out a series of Britmojis.