World Emoji Day celebrates picture communication
Today is the fifth annual World Emoji Day, started to celebrate the use of little characters in communication.
The day was created in 2014 by Jeremy Burge, an emoji historian, with 17 July chosen because that was the date shown on the Apple calendar emoji. In 2016, Google altered its calendar emoji to display the same date.
To commemorate the day, several smartphone manufacturers, including HMD Global and Apple, are releasing new or redesigned emoji for their devices.
HMD Global, the Finnish company that owns the rights to produce and sell Nokia handsets, has said its new Nokia Android smartphone range will include 60 redesigned emoji, which are exclusive to Android devices.
Meanwhile, Apple has announced that more than 70 new emoji characters are coming to iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch and Mac later this year in a free software update.
The new emoji designs include more hair options to better represent people with red hair, grey hair and curly hair, and a new emoji for bald people.
Apple will also include new smiley face emoji which will include expressions like cold face, party face, pleading face and a face with hearts.
There will also be a superhero emoji and a few more animals and food items, such as a kangaroo, peacock, parrot, lobster, mango, lettuce, cupcake and moon cake.
Emoji were first created in 1999 by Shigetaka Kurita. There are now over 2 600 emoji.
According to HMD Global, the most popular emoji in the world is 'person shrugging', while South Africans favour the 'kiss and wink' emoji.
In 2015, the Oxford Dictionaries word of the year was an emoji, the 'face with tears of joy'.
According to Emojipedia, founded by Burge, the creator of World Emoji Day, some of the most requested emoji include afro, a bagel and hands making a heart.