I second that emoji: The standards, structures, and social production of emoji

Bethany Berard


How does an emoji come to be? In 2010 emoji character sets were incorporated into Unicode Standard 6 which allowed “picture characters” to become standardized alongside text-based characters. The technical standardization allowed emoji to be used across devices, operating systems, and Internet platforms, producing a technical codification that made it easier for emoji to circulate widely. This paper provides a brief history of emoji, focusing on the technical standardization that demarcates emoji as unique from emoticons or other pictographic or iconographic formats, and examines the factors Unicode delineates as key for emoji inclusion and exclusion, and who ultimately decides whether an emoji will be created.



emoji; Unicode Consortium, character standards; visual communication

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5210/fm.v23i9.9381

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