Find the emoji meaning easily & fast.
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Emojis – Because a picture can say more than many words

The written word irritates to misunderstandings. Especially with hasty typed chat or mail messages, a remark can quickly become misunderstood and cause an unwanted reaction. In order for the to happen as rarely as possible, small pictures are added to a text message, which clarify the written and in a certain direction direct. If you are thinking about the famous smileys, you are on the right way – but not quite there yet, because we are already a few steps further today and want to talk about them.

What is an emoji?

They are small pictures, which should express a certain emotion or reference. It was invented by a Japanese man named Shigetaka Kurita. He was to design NTT DoCoMo small graphics in 1990 for the Japanese mobile phone provider NTT to simplify communication via short text messages . The result were the first emojis, which were very spartan and did not have by far the high degree of detail common today, not to mention several colors. Only 12 x 12 pixels and one only color included the first of them! But it was precisely this modest quality of the early years that helped the Emoji to establish itself so quickly: The first emoji was so small that it didn’t fall under the copyright – which pleased the competitors of NTT DoCoMo very much as they could also equip their own devices with emojis. It didn’t take long before belonged to good sound to upgrade mobile phone messages with an emoji.

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Is an emoji the same as an emoticon?

The terms emoji, emoticon and smiley often cause some confusion, as they are usually used for the same purpose. In fact, however, there is a clear difference between an them, even if a certain relationship cannot be denied. Simply put, an emoticon is just the illusion of a symbol or image created by stringing different standard characters together: colon, minus and parentheses, for example, result in a happy or sad smiley.

  • :-) or :-(

The great advantage of emoticons is their universal usability completely independent of the system used, wherever standard characters (called ASCII code) are entered using a keyboard, an emoticon can also be generated. The disadvantage of course is the very rudimentary drawing of the “image”, in addition a sided shift of the perspective has to be taken, because otherwise the sense of the emoticon does not open up.

…and the Smiley?

The smiley is older than all emoticons and emojis – it has already appeared analog as an internationally popular image and is used in the digital world as emoticon and emoji. As emoji he is usually bigger and more colorful and often more versatile in his facial expressions. Many text and chat programs replace the standard characters automatically by such a bigger and prettier emoji when entering a smiley, as we have introduced it to you above, but also some very simple smileys belong to the standard characters, the ASCII code.

Global standard thanks to Unicode

So that they can also be used problem-free all over the world, there is Unicode. This is a proven international standard that includes almost every character used in the world and makes it usable for digital use. Only in October 2010 did the Emoji make it into the Unicode tables, but also in many forms. The principle is very simple: Each character or symbol contained in Unicode has its own, unchangeable four-digit ID, which can be read by any compatible program and output in the defined form. So if you use an emoji, then not the actual image, but only the code is transferred, which the recipient translates back into the appropriate emoji. The aim is to ensure uniform communication. Before Unicode was developed and used for uniform representation of each emoji, there were several other methods, for example Shift_JIS. The competing and divergent systems have caused a lot of chaos and confusion before Unicode finally created a universally valid standard.

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…and still differences?

In tensionto the experience of many Emoji users is that one of them used differ significantly depending on the platform (Apple, Facebook, Messenger, WhatsApp). This is simply because the different providers use their own “emoji font” for each of their programs, for which the respective images have been designed differently. For example, Unicode defines a large, smiling smiley, but not its exact proportions or color. Therefore, massiv differences may occur in some cases. In addition, the modern emojis unlike their tiny forefather are large and detailed enough to fall under the copyright. Every single one of these pictures is protected by a copyright and may not be used without the permission of the copyright holder! That is why every provider has to design his own – which in turn are protected against access by third parties.

The not always easy question about the emoji meaning

Today, in the age of the Internet and continuous digital communication via the various messengers, emoji has become an integral part of our everyday lives. At size and versatility the small pictures have increased considerably – and an emoji meaning is not always immediately apparent to the user. Therefore there are a lot of websites, which are dedicated to the topic Emoji meaning and offer exact and partly very comprehensive listings. The interpretation of an emoji meaning is ultimately also complicated by the copyright-related deviations of the individual emojis. Sometimes this can lead to misunderstandings, and on the Internet regular petty wars have already flared up around a certain emoji meaning. In the case of the emoji “Grinning face with smiling eyes” (Unicode 1F601), the emoji meaning was even interpreted quite differently by many users: While one part interpreted the emoji positively, the second large group saw a negative statement in it.