While some industry experts think emojis are an ephemeral trend, World Emoji Day demonstrates their valuable ability to transcend language barriers.

Brands may < 3 emojis, but industry experts have been torn on whether they're a flash in the pan or a marketing mainstay. However, the existence of World Emoji Day illustrates that they're not going anywhere soon.

eMarketer estimates that 48 percent of U.S. adult Internet users regularly use emojis. July 17 marks their unofficial holiday, since that's the date displayed on Apple's calendar emoji, a nod to the date iCal premiered at the Macworld conference 13 years ago. As a result, consumers and brands are on social media talking about emojis and using emojis. #WorldEmojiDay is currently trending on Twitter, having generated more than 64,000 Tweets by 10:30 a.m.

"To me, I feel like this is the culmination of a year when emojis have really come into the common lexicon," says Christian Brucculeri, chief executive (CEO) of branded emoji keyboard company Snaps. "I think that they're here to stay - obviously, we have a biased view on that - but all the data we have internally implies that emojis are the most engaged piece of visual content people share in the messaging space."

Snaps was behind Burger King's chicken fry keyboard, as well as those for several TV shows, movies and sports teams. Because of World Emoji Day this week, (Read more...) company has also debuted keyboards for Victoria's Secret and L'Oréal. Next up is "one of the largest beverage brands," though Brucculeri can't yet say which one.

Emojis are having their moment in the sun, so it may seem like brands are embracing them to jump on the bandwagon. But at the same time, their visual element allows these brands to transcend language barriers. Many of the brands posting about World Emoji Day on Twitter and Instagram are not only major, but specifically foreign markets of major brands.




The McDonald's post displays an entire conversation without a single word. You may not speak one word of Italian - or Serbian, or Russian - but you don't have to, in order to understand that the texter in white proposes a burger run and the texter in green thinks that's the best idea ever.

"The future of communication is visual media and I think global brands, in particular, are latching onto this because all this visual communication happens across borders and is easily recognizable," Brucculeri says. "Brands are so used to localizing stuff so much, so now they've got a currency that can be read and shared across all their territories."

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