(CNN) – July 17 is World Emoji Day!
There are more than 1,800 emojis across multiple platforms. These expressive icons started life as emoticons.
Remember the sideways smiley face made up of a colon and closing parenthesis? 🙂
A Japanese man turned them into pictures in 1990 for teens to use on their pagers. The word emoji means “picture word” in Japanese.
The humble emoji sat rather unknown to the West until Apple included an emoji keyboard in its first iPhone.
It was meant for the Japanese market, but users in the U.S. quickly discovered it and the emoji boom began!
Today, emojis exist on multiple operating systems and platforms.