💬 The Wrap
In 2014 I decided to declare July 17 to be World Emoji Day. Mostly as a bit of fun, a chance to encourage emoji-use on social media.
It seemed like if there can be an Answer Your Cat's Questions Day, Talk Like A Pirate Day, and Eat an Extra Dessert Day (all real in the sense that someone has declared them to be so) then why shouldn't there be a World Emoji Day?
What does this look like in 2020? A holiday about smiley faces during a global pandemic. It's not ideal, but what is?
Behind the scenes, it's a matter of ensuring there's a team to keep an eye on what's happening. Elevate the good stuff. Ignore the junk. Be aware of what's happening around the globe at the same time.
"Wait before I share this, is Bill Nye cancelled?" one of the team asked on the Slack channel before being re-assured that no, we still think Bill Nye is cool and we'll share his World Emoji Day post. It's a fairly fun and lightweight day, but it doesn't mean you want to unintentionally promote people with a history of problematic behaviour.
Once a day exists, no-one really controls it. Yes Emojipedia runs the social accounts to keep things on the rails, but if we did nothing on the day, that doesn't mean other people and companies wouldn't still make their own announcements on July 17, 'for World Emoji Day'.
There is the question of tone. World Emoji Day isn't Emojipedia. It's a day. Do days have opinions? Not really. The focus aims to be there to share what others are doing, not for the World Emoji Day social accounts to be the day.
For me personally, much of July 16-18 is spent doing TV and radio in all the most inconvenient time zones (hello Australian afternoon radio at 4am), and speaking with reporters keen to write up a specific angle on emoji use, emoji approvals, or whatever seems most relevant on the day. Until about 2015 I ran all the social accounts for the day myself, but trying to fit in press interviews while parsing 100,000+ tweets in a day just isn't good for anyone's sanity.
Some of the main announcements from the day I've listed below. From my perspective, the most notable being Google returning to emoji designs with cuter personalities, and any time Apple shows new emojis, people are always interested.
I'm well aware that there's more important things on the planet than emoji, or technology at all. But there are some interesting stories worth noting, while we all just try to find the best balance we can.
Take care out there, and I hope you got something out of the day 💕
This newsletter comes out no more than once a month, but I have to admit it's been a while between outings!
I want to thank all the people involved in the planning, designing and rolling out of emoji updates.
Also to the World Emoji Day social team who sit in all timezones to make sure that if something interesting is done on the day, it can get a little love shared on social media.
This year World Emoji Day was also on TikTok for the first time. If you're there and want to follow for next year, please do.
Thoughts? Send me a tweet.