Emoji are ideograms and smileys used in electronic messages and Web pages. Emoji are used much like emoticons and exist in various genres, including facial expressions, common objects, places and types of weather, and animals.
Originating on Japanese mobile phones in the late 1990s, emoji have become increasingly popular worldwide since their international inclusion in Apple’s iPhone, which was followed by similar adoption by Android and other mobile operating systems. Apple’s macOS operating system supports emoji as of version 10.7 (Lion). Microsoft added monochrome Unicode emoji coverage to the Segoe UI Symbol system font in Windows 8 and added color emoji in Windows 8.1 via the Segoe UI Emoji font. The first international Emojicon conference was held in San Francisco, California on November 4, 2016.
Originally meaning pictograph, the word emoji comes from Japanese e (絵, “picture”) + moji (文字, “character”). The resemblance to the English words emotion and emoticon is purely coincidental.