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Emoji Evolution: How Emojis Have Changed Over Time

Emojis have become an integral part of our digital communication, allowing us to express emotions, convey messages, and add a touch of fun to our texts and social media posts. These tiny icons have come a long way since their inception, and their evolution is nothing short of fascinating.

The Birth of Emojis

Emojis were first introduced in 1999 by Shigetaka Kurita, a Japanese engineer working at NTT DoCoMo, a Japanese telecommunications company. Kurita designed 176 simple 12x12-pixel images that represented various emotions, objects, and symbols. These early emojis laid the foundation for what was to come.

The Global Emoji Explosion

Initially, emojis were confined to Japan, but as digital communication became more widespread, they started gaining popularity worldwide. In 2010, Unicode Consortium included emojis in its standard, ensuring compatibility across different platforms and devices. This opened the floodgates for emoji adoption on a global scale.

Emojis Get More Diverse

One of the most significant changes in emoji evolution has been the push for diversity and inclusion. Emojis have evolved to include a wide range of skin tones, gender options, and even different family compositions. This change has made emojis more representative of the diverse world we live in.

Emoji Artistry and Customization

As emojis gained popularity, their design and customization options expanded. Users can now choose from a variety of skin tones, hairstyles, and even mix and match different elements to create unique emojis. The artistry behind emojis has evolved, and they have become a form of self-expression.

The Rise of Animated Emojis

In recent years, animated emojis, or Animojis, have become a trend. With the advancement of technology, users can now send animated versions of their favorite emojis, adding an extra layer of fun and expressiveness to their messages.

Emojis in Pop Culture

Emojis have transcended digital communication and made their way into pop culture. They have been featured in movies, songs, and even in art exhibitions. The cultural impact of emojis is undeniable, and they have become a universal language that transcends borders.


Emojis have come a long way since their humble beginnings in Japan. They have evolved to become a crucial part of our digital communication, offering a way to express emotions, celebrate diversity, and have fun while doing it. As technology continues to advance, it's exciting to think about what the future holds for emojis.

So, the next time you use an emoji, remember the journey it has taken from its pixelated inception to the animated, customizable icons we know today.