The most used emojis in 2019 (Source: Unicode)
In the world of digital communication, one emoji reigns supreme: 😂.
Per the Unicode Consortium — a non-profit that sets standards for emojis — the “face with tears of joy” is the most-used emoji of 2021 (5%+ of all usage).
The emoji also topped the only previous list (2019). The ❤️ emoji was 2nd in both years.
Emojis were invented…
… in the late 1990s in Japan by NTT DoCoMo, one of the country’s leading telecoms.
Per The Guardian, NTT wanted to woo young consumers to its pager product and an employee — Shigetaka Kurita — suggested the use of simple images to accompany text.
Kurita created a 1st batch of 176 emojis “inspired by manga, Chinese characters and street signs” that laid the groundwork for future emojis.
The ‘face with tears of joy’…
… first came out as part of an emoji set from a competing Japanese telecom, SoftBank.
The Unicode Consortium officially blessed the emoji with its name in 2010. At the time, emojis were still very much a Japanese thing.
Apple didn’t make emoji keyboards an international standard for iOS until 2011. Emojis exploded in the following years.
By 2015, 😂 was already the most popular emoji on Twitter and it’s been pure dominance since.
Interesting: Among health-related emojis, “only 🥵 and 🥴 managed to enter the Top 100 in 2021. 😷 moved up from 186 to 156 while 🦠 only just made it into the Top 500.”
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