This past week has been filled with new innovations and updates on some of the most beloved apps in the world, and many of these revolve around the addition of emojis. I’ve seen many classmates tweeting an article from Adweek discussing the rise of emoji use in marketing campaigns. The article explains (as Jeremy pointed out), the “tears of joy” emoji is in 30th place for word of the year. It seems almost laughable that emoji’s have risen to such heights in our every day vernacular, but not so much when you see marketers harnessing that power.
The use of emoji’s has been frequent ever since mankind realized a colon and a half parentheses makes a smile, but they have recently taken on a new form entirely. With the introduction of an emoji keyboard for smartphones, the possibilities of shapes and attributes an emoji can possess is almost mind-boggling. Emojis have even become their own language, and are often used to communicate full sentences, song lyrics, or even releasing substantial news. Kim Kardashian announced the birth of her second child using emojis on twitter, as seen below:
Kim is no stranger to using emojis, and in fact has launched her own keyboard of emojis, aptly called “Kimojis”. Many beloved companies have followed suit, customizing their own emoji’s in order to gain social traction with their followers. SnapChat’s most current update that was released a few days ago features their own emoji keyboard to be used exclusively in their app through their texting service. These emoji’s look different from the traditional keyboard emoji’s that are in our iPhones and Kimojis. Apps like SnapChat and Grubhub have launched their emoji keyboard to be more aesthetically similar to the emoji’s created by Bitmoji.
Bitmoji is an app released by parent company Bitstrips, which allows users to create personalized avatars to look like themselves (or anyone they want). The app provides a wide range of features and outfits for users to choose from, and once they select the proper appearance (which is always changeable) they are able to launch their keyboard. Bitmoji allows the personalized avatar to be used in a variety of different situations, whether it be to express an emotion or to show a particular situation.
Bitmoji is a popular platform to replicate, as these emojis are more expressive and more artfully detailed and show writing as well as actions. Traditional emoji’s focus on a simplistic picture of one or two objects, while Bitmoji has text and illustration in many of their emojis. Consumers tend to enjoy Bitmoji’s for their personal use via texting or Facebook, but tend to use traditional emojis on twitter. Bitmoji’s are only recently featured on SnapChat’s texting platform and are not yet available to be used on the apps picture features, where traditional emoji’s are exclusively allowed.
Companies launching their own emoji’s for their specific apps is a way to keep on trend with consumers desires as well as their attention spans. Once an app is able to capture this unique value, they are able to adjust to more specific needs tailored to their customers. If they are late on an emerging trend, they stand to miss out on a key opportunity and will pay for it down the road. Marketers realize this, and thrive on trend prediction/capitalization. It comes as no surprise that emoji use in marketing messages has rapidly increased at an annual growth rate of over 775 percent. So far in 2016, emoji usage in marketing has continued to increase by over 20 percent month-over-month and climbing. Use of emoji marketing has peaked over holiday months in the retail and commerce industries, as their marketing strategies are shifting heavily towards online and social media. I suspect to see a sharp increase in the use of emojis in many emerging industries and a larger dependence on the technology instead of the written word when it comes to digital interactions.