It was 1999. Cell phone users in Japan and throughout the world were using more and more pictures in text messages to communicate feelings and mood. Large cell service providers took notice as these messages were eating up large amount of data usage as these files being sent were much large than a single text message. A single picture message at the time was the size of hundred (or even thousands) of individual text messages. In Japan, as the number of cell phone users started to creep north of 80 million users, cell phone providers were looking for a better option to cut down their own costs that came with transmitting all of these image messages. Providers put a lot of stress on their engineers to help fix this problem.
So what came next? The Emoji was born in a Japanese research facility. DoKoMo i-mode, a mobile phone provider in Japan, was the first to enable and allow users to add pictures of commonly used emoticons to their text messages.
Users were mesmerized by having emoticons (emojis) at their fingertips. Emojis made users text conversations come to life, and were able to add much more context to short conversations. Wireless network operators loved them too as DoKoMo engineers were able to transfer emojis as single characters that used way less data. Don’t forget this was all at a time where text messages were limited to 140 characters. As emojis became just a single character, everyone became a winner with this new breakthrough.
Years later, Apple and Steve Jobs were the catalyst that turned emojis into a universal language, which have been able to connect people in ways words sometimes just aren’t able to do so.
Here are some of Flonuts favorite emojis: