On July 17, Emoji users worldwide will celebrate World Emoji Day. Netizens have taken to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to show their love for emojis with the hashtag #Worldemojiday.
Before the actual day, here are five things you should know about emojis:
1. Why July 17?
On July 17, 2002, Apple first announced the iCal, its calendar app, for its Macintosh line of computers. To commemorate this, the iOS calendar emoji displays the same date.
As such, it was an easy decision for the people behind World Emoji Day, emojipedia.org, to choose July 17.
2. What is an emoji and are there different types?
The word emoji combines two japanese words: "e", meaning picture, and "moji", which stands for letter or character. Originating from the 1990s in Japan, emojis were created to keep up with mobile phone users who were starting to communicate with each other through picture messages.
Since emojis have japanese roots, many have meanings specific to Japanese culture. For example, this emoji which looks like a hospital is actually a love hotel.
Apple recently released several new racially diverse emoji, giving users a choice of skin tone and hair colour when using emojis depicting people or body parts, such as the thumbs-up emoji.
3. Which emojis are the most popular?
Emojis gained so much popularity that in 2013, it was officially added to the Oxford Dictionary.
4. How can you celebrate World Emoji Day?
To join in the festivities, simply tweet your favourite emojis along with the hashtag #Worldemojiday.
Better yet, invite your friends over for a party and dress up as your favourite emoji, like these people on Instagram have done.
If you have a knack for baking, emoji cupcakes are another creative way to celebrate your love for emoji.
5. Companies are joining in too
Many companies will run special promotions to commemorate World Emoji Day 2014. Sony Music India is running an emoji contest, rewarding creative emoji interpretations of popular songs with albums.
Popular singing contest The Voice also has something special planned: answering fan questions with emojis.
Dunkin' Donuts in India is running a contest encouraging fans to download Dunkin emojis and tag friends.