Nine perfectly reasonable reasons to use Emoji in a business context

Great designers and engineers know there is real beauty in working within constraints. Let’s be clear here: emoji are loaded with constraints. Yes, there’s…

  1. Great designers and engineers know there is real beauty in working within constraints. Let’s be clear here: emoji are loaded with constraints. Yes, there’s no emoji for drums. There’s no emoji for a sandwich. And sure, many symbols are specific to life in Japan where they originated, but within those several hundred symbols you have an entire pictogram language that can work for any phrase or situation if you stretch your imagination far enough. Don’t just embrace the limits, revel in them. 💖🎊💯
  2. Emoji are a non-verbal form of communication. It’s always handy to have another data-point on how someone is feeling at any one time, especially one this subtle but expressive. As my daughter says “I can tell what someone’s current mood is based on the emoji they pick that morning while texting.” 💭
  3. Emoji promote intimacy in the cold-hearted world of computers. Think about it: we have fewer face-to-face conversations these days (which reduces our social cues of body language) and we’re cutting back on voice communication too (which reduces our verbal cues as well). Everyone loves the speed of texting each other but when you’ve reduced most human interaction to text alone, it’s hard to truly connect with one another. Emoji to the rescue! This is why there are roughly 70 faces in the iOS emoji set, so you can find something that represents the precise feeling you want to convey to someone that can’t hear you nor see you at that moment. 💞
  4. It’s efficient! What you used to say in a whole sentence, you can now say in a character or two. Get in, get out, move on. Especially useful on the go. 📝💨
  5. Emoji make us better communicators. You can be more succinct while at the same time being more expressive. Your recipients can infer your mood and level of humor, all thanks to a language made up from pictures. It’s kind of amazing, isn’t it? 🎏
  6. Emoji make boring communication more lively by injecting a bit of lightheartedness and informality. Try it in your next presentation or corporate report, or even introductory emails to new hires. Unless it’s wholly inappropriate, it’ll make people smile. 😜
  7. Emoji make the workday a little less boring. Humans are natural storytellers, so the moment you string two or more emoji together, people are going to try and work out what phrase/story/mood you are trying to convey. Using emoji in this way is basically building a puzzle out of pictures that people have to decode on the other end, and that’s a good thing! It can be the highlight in someone’s otherwise dull day.
  8. While the world continues to adopt a handful of languages for international business, Emoji quietly became the fastest growing international language understood by almost anyone on earth. It already took place before we realized it and perhaps it’s the solution to language barriers in the future.
  9. Bridge the gap between the virtual and physical by making an emoji Halloween costume. Ten minutes and $5 in office supplies and I became a 🎉 which is my favorite emoji. Anyone else can do this at your next office costume party.

Next year I’m totally going as 💃.

Matt Haughey enjoys long rides on the beach on bikes with ridiculously oversized tires.

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