How It Works

Who decides which emojis are made?


Mobile phone manufacturers do.

The little pictures of things like a dog or a slice of cake were popularised by Japanese mobile networks and don’t have any official translation or meaning.

Around 1,300 emojis have subsequently been adopted by the Unicode standard, and theoretically anyone can submit a proposal to for a new one to be added.

But the review process takes about two years and there is no requirement for mobile phones to only use standard Unicode emojis.

Apple, for example, has their own set that are used on iPhones and these aren’t licensed to anyone else.

Discover the answer to more curious questions in the latest issue of How It Works magazine. It’s available from all good retailers, or you can order it online from the ImagineShop. If you have a tablet or smartphone, you can also download the digital version onto your iOS or Android device. To make sure you never miss an issue of How It Works magazine, make sure you subscribe today!

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