Get a demo Do I subscribe? News sign-up
Print

What next for emoji?

News, 01 December 2016

NEW YORK: Consumers may already have reached "peak emoji" just as new platforms are emerging to enable brands to reach them more effectively this way.

Recent data from YouGov Profiles – a segmentation and media planning product based on information gathered from more than 200,000 US YouGov members – indicated that a majority of consumers (58%) felt businesses were "trying too hard" when they used emoji in ads and communications.

And that view was held across all age groups – even among millennials (59%) who are seen as the demographic most comfortable with emoji culture. More than half (53%) this age group thought mixing emoji and text helped people understand each other better, compared to just 34% of 50-64 year olds.

Drilling deeper into the data showed that consumers who feel brands are going overboard with emojis were most likely to be males aged 50-64 who live the suburbs.

They are likely to be disappointed, however, as the emoji bandwagon shows no signs of slowing.

The Unicode Consortium recently approved 51 new emoji while a report from startup ad platform Emogi claimed that 75% of US consumers would be interested in having more emoji options than they currently do.

And, it added, nearly half would use a branded emoji as an alternative in messaging if given the option.

Accordingly, Emogi has launched Wink, a platform for mobile messaging that bypasses the slow process of gaining Unicode Consortium approval for new emoji and avoids users having to download a separate a separate emoji keyboard, app or sticker pack.

Wink looks like the standard emoji keyboard that comes with any smartphone, the New Yorker explained, but is loaded with a changing array of branded emoji that appear depending on what a user types; brands can make ad buys based on certain triggers and target particular audiences based on factors such as age, gender and location.

While this provides a way for messaging apps to monetise their users and for brands to gain more exposure, it's the data that Emogi founder Travis Montaque has his sights set on.

"Wink is just a key for brands to get in the door," he said "We're going to give them more things as they walk through. We're going to figure out all the ways they can leverage the data."

Data sourced from YouGov, Emogi, The New Yorker; additional content by Warc staff