10 emoji-mania factoids to make you go 'Whaaat?'
1 It has its own super serious governing body called Unicode.
I mean just take a look at the board members. From ideas crowdsourced globally, it is they who decide to add a cupcake emoji or an aubergine one.
2 The six stage process last week resulted in what was called 'Unicode 11.0'
*said in booming voice*
And the release of 62 new icons. (Here you need to remind yourself it regulates the likes of cartoon poos and not nuclear missiles).
3 The new batch includes redheads and superheroes.
Plus curly hair, a pirate flag and a 'flying disc' (aka Frisbee). Said Emma Kelly of the website Ginger Parrot: "We did feel a bit left out".
4 And it prompted salad-gate.
Google removed the egg from its salad emoji to accommodate vegans, which prompted fury. One wag posted: "So instead of more privacy protections, better security, higher battery efficiences (sic - no-one can spell), better update processes...Google removes an egg from a salad?" BTW the lettuce eaters were happy.
5 There's an international petition to ban the straw and cup emoji.
Having been blamed for ruining the English language, emoji now stands accused of polluting our oceans, with the Attenborough acolytes calling for a veto on the plastic cup and straw emoji, as it encourages the “normalisation of plastic”. We agree. Just sign here.
6 This website tracks the most popular emoji on twitter in real time.
I beg of you press emoji tracker right now. It's like watching the Dow Jones on acid. Obvs, crying-with-laughter emoji is the most popular. But read why the recycling icon is randomly no 3 here. Insane.
7 The Emojipedia (for it exists) now has 2,823 emoji.
And if Apple sticks with its usual schedule, they won't hit your phone until autumn. (Coders - so slow, no?)
8 It's now a universal language.
Which can be translated online - try it here - from more than 100 different world languages. On Facebook Messenger, more than five billion emoji are sent every DAY.
9 The first emoji was created almost 20 years ago.
By Shigetaka Kurita, a 25-year-old mobile phone employee who designed the first 176 in five weeks in 1999. His fave? The heart. His Japanese bosses vetoed the poop one.
10 An emoji in your email subject line leads to a higher open rate.
Start-ups take note. Who knew? We do now!
PS Miley Cyrus has a sad kitty emoji tattooed on her inner lip. Don't.
PPS Not to be confused with an emoticon :)
PPS It starts this week - try the World Cup emoji challenge...