Photo Credit: shutterstock
One of the hottest trends on the Internet today is the simple emoji. Just think of how many times you see emoji included in tweets, in text messages, or as responses to Facebook status updates or Instagram photos. On your smartphone, you probably even have an emoji keyboard that you specifically use for tapping out little smiley faces and other emoticons.
It’s no wonder, then, that many of the world’s top celebrities and social media influencers have jumped aboard the emoji bandwagon. Kim Kardashian has her Kimoji, Justin Bieber has his JustMoji, supermodel Heidi Klum has HeidiMoji, and comedian Kevin Hart has KevMoji. These are all emoji sets that have been created around the personas of specific celebrities. They enable people to tell others what they’re thinking and feeling by using cartoon-like images of their favorite celebrities.
Deep down, though, everyone wants their own emoji set. As much fun as it might be to send supermodel HeidiMoji to your friends, if you don’t happen to be a gorgeously stunning blonde supermodel, it’s sort of odd to be sending those emoji to your friends and office colleagues.
Bitmoji and personalized emoji for everyone
But there’s a solution to that problem! Using the Bitmoji app, you can create your own custom emoji that look exactly like you. You can customize face shape, skin tone, hair color and facial features – and then give that character a fun wardrobe. Right now, you’d probably want to use the BrrrMoji (emoji featuring winter parkas and wool caps). But that could change once spring finally arrives, in which case, you’d update your emoji sets with some cool Spring Break outfits.
Snapchat thought so much of the Bitmoji concept that it bought Bitstrips, the creator of Bitmoji, for $100 million in March 2016. Yes, $100 million for those cartoon avatars that you can turn into your own personal emoji! They were a perfect fit for Snapchat, where users love to create personalized photos by adding funny images and artistic touches.
Emoji as a new type of social media
If you think about it, personal emoji are really just another type of social media tool. They are similar to hashtags, in the sense that you can describe a complex concept in just a single image. They are similar to the “like” button on Facebook, but much more universal because they can express so many different moods. (And, in fact, Facebook has opened up the type of reactions that you can leave on a status update to include much more than just a thumbs-up). And they are similar to “reaction GIFs” you find on Tumblr and other social networks, in that they are able to convey complex emotions very easily.
Time to climb aboard the emoji bandwagon
So, if your brand is not yet experimenting with emojis, it’s time to give them a try. This past holiday season, you probably noticed the number of consumer-facing brands that started included holiday-themed emojis in the subject lines of their emails, in the hopes of boosting open rates. And you’ve probably noticed the number of brands that are using all kinds of emojis in their tweets and in their responses to suggestions or comments from fans on their Facebook and Instagram pages.
At one time, the idea of using emojis in “serious” corporate correspondence might have seemed frivolous and misguided. But then the Kardashians got involved in December 2015, and that led to the whole celebrity world taking a closer look at emoji throughout all of 2016. Now, with Snapchat fully behind the emoji trend, and with so many people creating their own personal emoji via Bitmoji, it’s time to get your emoji mojo working in 2017.