Digital communication is the fastest and most convenient way to connect with the important people in our lives. And now it has become enriched by adding visual elements and symbols…i.e. emojis! These tiny visual gems help us convey vocal tone and facial expressions and are used to enhance our emotional context.



Emoji, which have grown from an original set of 176 characters to a collection of over 3,000 unique icons, present both opportunities and challenges to the academics who study them. As of 2017, Facebook and Facebook Messenger process over 60 million and 6 billion messages with emoji per day, respectively. In 2015, Instagram reported that nearly half of the photo comments posted on Instagram contain emoji and Instagram users tend to replace slang terms using emoji in photo comments. Another study revealed that emoji are slowly taking over emoticons on Twitter. From an academic point of view, that presents a wealth of data to understand communication, behavior, and language online.

Until recently, the academic research on emoji has been limited. Due to the pictorial nature of emoji, the fact that (the same) emoji may be used in different contexts to express different meanings, and that emoji are used in different cultures and communities over the world who interpret emoji differently, make it especially difficult to apply traditional Natural Language Processing (NLP) techniques to analyze them.

To meet these challenges, Emoji2018 was created. It aims to stimulate research on understanding social, cultural, communicative, and linguistic roles of emoji and develop approaches to analyze, interpret and understand emoji and their usage in social media applications. Emoji2018 provides a forum to bring together researchers and practitioners from both academia and industry in the areas of social network analysis, natural language processing, computational linguistics, human-computer interaction, and computational social sciences to discuss high-quality research and emerging applications, to exchange ideas and experience, and to identify new opportunities for collaboration.

Emoji data generated on social media sites have been utilized to study how emoji are used across different languages, cultures, user communities and as features to learn machine learning models to solve problems that span across many applications, including sentiment analysis, emotion analysis, and sarcasm detection. The ability to automatically process, derive meaning, and interpret text fused with emoji will be essential as society embraces emoji as a standard form of online communication. Thus, Emoji2018 tries to bring together computer and social science researchers and practitioners from both academia and industry to discuss and exchange ideas on understanding social, cultural, communicative, and linguistic roles of emoji while leading the discussions on building novel computational methods to understand and interpret them.



emoji used in america



Emoji 2018 is focused on research and discussions on challenges in emoji understanding, including the following research directions:

Challenges in interpreting the meaning of an emoji in a message context

Challenges in using emoji as a language

Common emoji usages in social media

Cultural and community-specific emoji meaning evolution and interpretation

Why emoji meanings change over time and across communities?

Distinct social and communicative roles of emoji

How do people come to understandings of the meanings of the emoji?

Understanding sender intention and receiver interpretation of emoji

Emoji rendering and interface design challenges

Applications of emoji in social media

Research related to other pictorial representations such as emoticons, kaomoji, emotes, customized emoji (e.g., bitmoji), and animated gifs

As emojis become more prevalent in our day to day conversations, research will prove crucial in determining the emoji significance going forward.


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