Since 2014, World Emoji Day is celebrated every year on July 17.
Japanese artist, Shigetaka Kurita, created the first pixelated colour emoji in 1999. These little illustrations paved the way for different types of emoji that were later recognised by Unicode - an international computer encoding standard, enabling them to be enjoyed across different platforms.
Emoji use has increased rapidly since Apple added the Emoji keyboard to iOS in 2011 and has been widely described as the ‘world’s fastest-growing language’ by many experts. In August 2013 the word ‘emoji’ was officially added to the Oxford English Dictionary with the definition being “a small digital image or icon used to express an idea or emotion.”
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