Here’s its History

For some time now, we’ve got used to using emojis in every message we send. We all remember when the only emojis available were only the smilies we could only create with punctuation. Now we have an emoji for almost everything, and they keep evolving over the years and are ever more used to communicate in text messages.

The first recorded use of emoticons using keyboard characters dates back to 1982. The more pictorial emojis appeared in 1999 in Japan which means “picture character” in Japanese. They come from a manga tradition called “mapu” dating back to the 19th century. And like any form of language is supervised by a Californian non-profit organization called the Unicode Consortium, which has been the reference since 1991 for producing computer code to translate all language systems and alphabets for digital use.

Candidates for the annual emoji update take on average 18 months to become emoji. Unicode gives a model for the code but Apple, Samsung, and Google have always drawn their own versions. About 70% of emojis sent are emotion-based and others represent activities, food, or different types of people. But one stands out most: the poop emoji.

The poop emoji has quite a history. It is one of the most popoolar iPhone emojis, scoring highest in usage by a SwiftKey report (SwiftKey is a keyboard app for iPhone and Android). This report showed that between October 2014 to January 2015 America, United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia all used the poop emoji more than any other emoji. However, it wasn’t always so welcomed.

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poo emoji

First introduced as a part of the Unicode 6.0 in 2010, it was originally a swirly brown pile of poo surrounded by buzzing flies before being the friendly smiling face we all know today, and people were not impressed. Gmail wasn’t convinced about the emoji, stating that people would be offended by the vulgarity of the emoji. It took the persuasion of the creators, Darick Tong, Darren Lewis, Takeshi Kishimoto, and Katsuhiko “Kat” Momoi, to get the poop emoji on to Gmail.

From its start at Gmail, the emoji has had to fight for its stance. The emoji was created to be much more innocent, originally it was supposed to be known as a chocolate soft serve swirl. It was then interpreted in Dazed, Buzzfeed, and Huffington Post who came up with a list of ways the emoji could be used, citing poop as one use.

With the little brown pile now outed as the international symbol for poop, people have come up with several ways to create funny uses. For example 💩 + ☔ is “shit-storm” 💪 +💩 is “tough shit” 🐮 + 💩 is “bullshit”.

So, the poop emoji evolved: at first, it should have been represented more like a taboo, like something to hide (subconscious), hence the poop was conceived as chocolate serve, then it becomes an ugly representation of the idea of poop (repulsion): with flies around it, and finally, it is drawn as a funny face (acceptance) as if to say poop is no longer a taboo or at least, less than before.