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This screen shot made Thursday, April 9, 2015 on an iPhone 6 shows some of the new emojis available with the iOS 8.3 software update. The batch of more than 300 new emojis includes ones different skin tones and depictions of families with two moms or two dads. (AP Photo)

It's the Emoji Era. Here's why emojis are like a second language.



WATCH  | If you thought emojis were a thing of the past, think again. They're the tech gift that keeps on giving.

According to Emojipedia, there are as many as 1,851 emoji characters supported on current platforms. That number includes Unicode, the company that's brought your favorite emojis to your iPhone and Android phones.

Here's some history on emojis:

  •  Originated in Japan in the late 1990s by a man named Shigetaka Kurita
  • "Emoji" comes from Japanese characters e ("picture") + moji ("character")
  • They were based  on expressions Kurita observed people making and city objects

We feel you, Michelle.


Twitter declared these were the most-used emojis in 20 countries around the world last year.

Students visually oriented

"Fifty percent of students today are visually oriented, compared to contextual or haptic," said Susan Metros, former associate dean at the Jimmy Iovine and Andre Young Academy at the University of Southern California.

Emojis are quick and helpful shortcuts for a conversation, but Metros says there is a downside to using them.

"It would be much better to say to someone 'I'm really angry' and 'These are the reasons' and 'This is what you can do about it' rather than just hitting send with an emoji," Metros said.

Emojis can definitely lead to miscommunication and awkward conversations with your mom.


Today, there are various ways to use emojis. Want to access your bank account or send cash to your friend? Thanks to UK bank Intelligent Environments and Venmo, you can do just that using emojis.

Which of these emojis do you use the most?

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