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Who invented emojis?


Cat with heart eyes, plate of spaghetti and fork, person with arms crossed in front of them, red chili pepper with stem.

If you texted me to ask what I wanted for dinner and this was my reply, you'd probably scratch your head. But if I replied:


you'd be more likely to know that I'd love some pasta but not too spicy!

Emojis are a big part of modern communication. They use pictures to convey a message — in a lot fewer characters! But who invented this visual language?

In the late 1990s, a Japanese artist named Shigetaka Kurita created the first emoji. He was working for a mobile communications company called NTT Docomo. They were developing a new internet platform. Since it allowed for a limited number of characters, Kurita came up with the idea to replace words with pictures. This would allow people to communicate longer messages while using less data.

Over a decade later, Unicode created a universal standard set of emojis. This meant that people all over the world were using the same emoji dictionary. With everyone "speaking" the same language, emojis easily became a part of our everyday lives.

Did you know that the word "emoji" is based on the Japanese words for "picture" (e) and "character" (moji)? Now that's 😎!

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