Emojis, the new face of conversations

Ankit Prasad | Updated on September 07, 2020 Published on September 07, 2020

Technology is playing a pivotal role in the paradigm shift in the way people express themselves — preferring visuals over words

The evolution of conversation has had an intertwined relationship with the evolution of humans and technology. Humans were communicating by expressions with the help of cave paintings long before developing and speaking different languages. We moved across a steadily progressing timeline, from postcard to the era of widespread social media. Undoubtedly it would seem that we have taken a great leap, but perhaps maybe we have circled back to the need for a more expressive form of communication.

Emojis are the pioneers of the continuously evolving e-language that is changing the way we express ourselves. It all started with a humble text message and with some creative individuals who thought that a semicolon (;) and a curve bracket ()) will make a good winky face (;)). Following the popularity of these works of creativity, the journey from simple emoticons to colourful emojis was not far behind. Today more than 92 per cent of people who text online prefer using emojis.

This journey of conversation continued to evolve and along came stickers and gifs that escalated in their popularity with the rise of meme content. The love for a visual representation of emotions is not just a millennial fad like the perm hair or bell-bottom jeans. It echoes an indispensable need among humans to express themselves more in communication. A whopping 77 per cent of people feel that their feelings are better understood when they use visuals over words.

Prediction algorithms

Technology is playing a pivotal role in this paradigm shift of expression with the help of AI keyboards like Google’s Gboard, Fleksy, and Bobble AI that use brilliant prediction algorithms to understand the user’s intent and suggest users the apt expression at the right time. Imagine you are angry at a friend, you can either use the red face emoji or a cute gif of a baby with folded hands and pouty lips or even your own personalised avatar, sounds powerfully expressive, no?

As a next step, it was time to focus on the language as emoticons represented an expression, the language was required to reflect correct conversation as users lose the essence of the whole conversation due to translation between different languages. Keyboards in different languages are introduced as the adoption of regional languages has been taking place in every millisecond.

We are a country that boasts about its people’s diversity and their closeness to mother tongue influences, hence, keyboard in different native languages is introduced to bridge the communication gap. As a result, tier-2 and tier-3 cities have outgrown the percentage of Tier-1 cities when it comes to the use of emojis and stickers. According to Bobble AI’s data intelligence, in a year, usage of regional language in tier-2 and tier-3 cities has gone up by 45 per cent and 22 per cent, respectively.

The trend that has been observed from the last few years is the fascination with customisation.

Conversation media

Emojis, stickers, gifs, and personalisation have laid the groundwork for the new and untapped territory known as ‘Conversation media — the visual form of online communication’. Conversation media is fun for consumers. Given the immense popularity, it is also a big opportunity for brands to market their product in a non-intrusive way.

Brand integrations into conversations are set to disrupt how brands engage with consumers. When chatting about travel plans, and a fun sticker of an airline pops up, imagine the everlasting brand impression it will leave on the mind of both sender and receiver of the text. The possibilities are endless with this sort of marketing. Brands like Holler, Tenor, Giphy, Sticker.ly and Bobble have already started working on this idea.

The writer is Founder and CEO, Bobble AI

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Published on September 07, 2020
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