They’ve infiltrated our lives on the daily, taken over our text messages, and even graced the big screen. And you know what? It’s time to celebrate them! Happy World Emoji Day 🗺️🤩📆! July 17th marked the tenth annual World Emoji Day and there’s never been a better time to be a cute and colorful little communication character.
According to Emojipedia—the preeminent source for emoji meanings and news—the little sideways ROFL (rolling on the floor laughing) pictograph takes home the coveted ‘World Emoji Lifetime Achievement Award,’ among other kudos this year.
“It’s the number two most popular emoji in the world today (behind the more straightforward laugh-crying face) and by far and away the most popular “new” emoji added in the last ten years,” Keith Broni, Emojipedia editor-in-chief told me over a video call.
What’s the most used emoji in 2023?
When it comes to digital communication there’s hardly a tap, type, or text without an emoji involved these days. Collectively, we share more than ten billion emojis every day, that’s nearly seven million every single minute. (No wonder we need a World Emoji Day!!!)
Use is skyrocketing at the office too, with some younger workers wondering if people are mad at them if they don’t include an emoji in a business email.
Here are Emojipedia’s top ten most used emojis in 2023 so far:
- 😂 Face with Tears of Joy
- 🤣 Rolling on the Floor Laughing
- ❤️ Red Heart
- 🙏 Folded Hands
- 😭 Loudly Crying Face
- 😍 Smiling Face with Heart-Eyes
- ✨ Sparkles
- 🔥 Fire
- 😊 Smiling Face with Smiling Eyes
- 🥰 Smiling Face with Hearts
What Will the Next New Emojis Be?
When we finally figure out how to use the latest emoji’s the “right” way, according to our kids — and subsequently realize that the emoji we’ve been sending off to Grandma to denote a fresh Southern fruit really means something totally different — a new batch of emojis is most certainly on its way.
- Phoenix: A mythical bird rising from the ashes could be the perfect metaphor for everything from acing a challenging job interview to recovering from a hangover. This one gets high marks for attention to detail.
- Lime: Nobody puts baby in a corner when it comes to lemon’s little sister. Apparently, the lime is très trendy these days. There’s even a Change.org petition to get it added to our emoji-roster!
- Head-Shaking Horizontally and Vertically: Because it’s about darn time we have a non-verbal “yes,” or “no?” Both mock-ups of these new emoji-motions look like the people are sleeping though—which is kind of strange. Some people have commented that the “yes,” motion looks more like someone denoting reluctance than a straightforward “yes.”
- Broken chain: Representing a link between two parties that’s been shattered or a literal chain of metal that’s been broken, the broken chain’s dual meaning makes it a great utilitarian addition to the emoji keyboard.
- Families: As Unicode asked in its write-up on these prospective pictographs, “What even is a family? For some, family is the people you were raised with. Others have embraced friends as their chosen family. Some families have children, other families have pets. There are multi-generational families, multi-racial families and of course, many families are any combination of all of these characteristics and more.” Since families truly come in every shape and size these days — so should the emojis depicting them. In a nod to be more inclusive, there are four different family-based emojis under consideration: Two adults and one child, one adult and two children, one adult and one child, and two adults and two children.
The Emoji 15.1 candidate list also adds people in motion going different directions while running, wheeling (traveling in a wheelchair), and many others, along with skin tone modifiers.
“These new direction-specifying emojis are all versions of pre-existing people emojis (e.g. 🏃 Person Running), but with the addition of explicitly-stated directionality (e.g. 🏃➡️ Person Running Facing Right),” Broni explained.
Did Apple Just Release New Memoji Features Too?
In honor of World Emoji Day, Apple also shared new emoji and Memoji experiences coming to iPhone with iOS 17.
You’ll soon be able to create a custom Contact Poster, which lets you show up as your own cute little cartoon character when you text or call someone. Plus, there are three new Memoji stickers to express yourself — Halo, Smirk, and Peekaboo. 😇😏
An Apple spokesperson said in an email that you’ll also be able to peel and stick emoji stickers on messages, photos, documents, and more.
iOS 17 will be available this fall and anyone interested in getting an early preview of the newest Memoji updates and emoji stickers can download the iOS 17 public beta on a secondary device.
Have thoughts on the current emoji-scape? We want to hear them! What do you think is missing and what do you think is overkill? Head over to our socials and let us know.