In case you missed it, World Emoji Day was July 17th. Yes, in a world where there is an official “day” for just about everything, World Emoji Day is the one day of the year where one is encouraged to go overboard to promote the use of that beloved emojis and spread the enjoyment that they bring to our lives.
The first emoji was created in 1999 in Japan by Shigetaka Kurita, an engineer working on NTT DoCoMo’s i-mode mobile Internet platform. He was inspired by TV weather forecast symbols, Chinese characters, street signs, and Manga style comics that used stock symbols to express emotions.
World Emoji Day was created by Emojipedia founder Jeremy Burge in 2014 and Emojipedia is the official custodian of this global day. As a backgrounder, July 17 is the date marked on two emoji keyboard symbols—the calendar and the notepad. It was on this day that the iCal bearing that date was launched at MacWorld Expo in 2002.
Last year a wide range of companies adopted emojis in their social media campaigns, including Dominos Pizza, the World Wildlife Fund, and IKEA. Big brands like NASCAR, Victoria’s Secret, the Smithsonian Museum and Disney incorporated emojis into their 2015 product or service offerings to coincide with World Emoji Day. Brands such as Coca-Cola, Spotify, and Starbucks (to name a few) have each paid Twitter over $1 million for custom emoji designs for their ads.