Whether you are ordering a pizza from Dominos, breaking up with a boyfriend, closing a new business deal or catching up with an old friend – the chances are better than ever that you are using text as your medium of choice. That’s happening for many reasons from the utility of being able to engage in multiple conversations at once to the need for a written record of past discussions, and even the desire to keep some people at arms length emotionally by avoiding a meeting via the phone or in person. For those reasons and so many more, people have also adopted a strong affinity for the small iconic emojis available to help them express the feelings that are silently sent along with their words of choice.
“When I first started texting on my phone and using desktop apps like Skype or even ICQ back in the day, I was really underwhelmed by variety and specificity of the emojis these platforms offered” said Rick Muenyong of EmojiOne.com “Just how many times can someone write ‘lol’ to communicate a laugh before it loses its emotional intensity, or send the same exact smiley face icon to emote their feelings about everything from a minor accomplishment to the birth of a new child? Having a restrictive, limited and uninspiring set of emojis available is a surefire way to stifle the ability of people to get their point across, and in the end it erodes the connections people want to share with one another. EmojiOne is intended to put all the color, power and vibrant intensity of artfully using your voice into the ubiquitous use of the new text medium.”
Conversing with someone else includes so many cues that each participant picks up on during any discussion. Subtle facial expressions, intonations of a voice, connotations of the words people carefully choose and body language. By it’s nature, the text message restricts each message and strips away most of that stylistic meta data before it reaches the intended recipient. Much the same way ancient artists uses hieroglyphs and pictorial additions to accent their text, modern Emoji teams are pursuing the use of images as a way to turn ordinary chats into an extraordinarily concise way to communicate.
“Texting is not going to completely replace voice, video or in-person communication, and I don’t think anyone really wants it to be used for life-changing experiences” added Mr. Muenyong. “There will never be an Emoji sufficient to communicate the depth of human compassion for a message saying ‘sorry, your mom has died’ – but for the millions of messages sent each minute that do make sense as text communications, having a robust iconography library to aid people in their attempts to communicate is something I am proud to be part of creating. As an early entrepreneur of internet development, I knew large companies would seek to turn their emoji sets into unhelpful bare basic attempts within each of their own walled gardens. Instead, I thought we could do better with EmojiOne and being able to provide it as a free service for developers is something that feels right. We aren’t reinventing the alphabet, but we are doing important work to expand on the alphabet’s potential, and I am thankful to this day that nobody has to pay a licensing fee to the early scholar who invented a symbol of the letter A or the number 3. At the end of the day, we’re about giving people a tool that should enhance their daily lives at work or at play for generations to come.”
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