2014-08-13

Co.Labs

Are You Fluent In Emoji?

All-emoji chat apps are here to test your powers of nonverbal expression.



If someone adds a happy face to the end of a text message, you know what it connotes. But what about messages without any text, only little yellow faces? Can people really communicate exclusively in emoji?

We'll find out soon. Both Emojli and Emojicate are emoji-only chat apps that are trying to turn the little smiley faces into a dedicated language.

Emojli, still in development, takes things to the most extreme having users also register user names in emoji. Emojicate, on the other hand, positions itself like a Twitter competitor of sorts by allowing status updates, but also includes a private chat feature. We took them for a test-drive to see what life is like when lived through tiny emotive icons.

The cruel reality, whether you think emoji-only communication is great or not, is that it’s still incredibly hard. With 100+ character choices, it can be difficult to pick the perfect symbols in a timely manner.

Communicating with emoji is kind of like texting on traditional dial pad used to be. Punching out letters using the numbers 1-9 was excruciating until the predictive input T9 came along, and even that wasn’t much better.

This shouldn’t be any surprise, though. Snapchat has been pushing a generation to communicate more in pictures. GIFs are more popular than ever, despite being more than 25 years old. Part of the social media trend has been to push people toward sharing information that's glance-able. If it can't be instantly consumed, there's also no chance it goes viral. Even though Snapchat doesn't deal in emoji, the trend toward not communicating in words makes it turning down a $3 billion acquisition look less foolish.

For those that do need help putting their feelings into pictures, Emojimo is here to help. The iOS app translates regular text sentences into hip, emoji-filled, slang.

If you want some more emoji-related apps, Product Hunt has a good collection of new emoji products right now. Some of my favorites include Imoji, a way to make emoji-like stickers of yourself, and of course the Seinfeld emoji app.

But the big question is: Can you speak emoji? Test out your skills with a few sentences below.

Answers:

  1. "Hey, my car’s broken, can you please take me to work and then bring me home?"
  2. "What time is school, want to to get breakfast?"
  3. "The newest album from Arcade Fire is hitting the spot."
  4. "We should make an emoji app, it'll be huge."

[Image: Flickr user Wicker Paradise]




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