World Emoji Day falls on the 17th of July each year. The reason is obscure because it's the day Apple's unveiled it's iCal app at MacWorld way back in 2002. As a result, the iOS calendar emoji is a daily flip calendar set to July 17. The day gained traction in 2015 when the tag #WorldEmoiiDay was the top trending item on Twitter.
An emoji is the Japanese term for a picture character or emoticons used in electronic messages and webpages. They originated in the late 1990s on Japanese mobile phones and became popular when they were introduced to Apple's iPhone and Android devices.
The list of emojis expanded in June this year with a ton of new additions, including a clown face, a face palm and a selfie. The Unicode Consortium provides guidelines around the emojis. These guidelines are then implemented by the different computing companies (like Google, Microsoft, Apple, Twitter and Samsung) depending on their software update timelines.
Emoji's allow us to express our thoughts and feelings better than just using words. If you've ever found yourself misunderstood because you wrote something with jest or sarcasm and it was taken the wrong way, you'll understand why words without body language cues and inflection don't portray the meaning we originally intended. That's the appeal of emojis and as the saying goes 'a picture tells a thousand words' or at least a short sentence.
If you are new to emoji you can look up the intended meaning by searching on the emojipedia website. This handy website shows the different ways the image is displayed depending upon the company or platform.
Several months ago there was a campaign to make the emojis more inclusive. The Always #LikeaGirl campaign video sees girls discuss female emojis – let's hope future emojis embrace more diversity.
You can join in the celebration on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram by using the hashtag #WorldEmojiDay and try out a new emoji or two on Sunday 17th July 2016. You may like to celebrate by holding an emoji party where you invite your friends to come dressed as their favourite emoji character.