A few years ago, Baby Boomers used to complain that texting was degrading the average teen's language abilities. Now that emojis have burst onto the scene as an entire generation's de facto mode of digital expression, it's less about figuring out where they came from than it is about maximizing their marketing potential.
That's the direction Twitter intends to head, as it announced on Wednesday (June 15) that it flipped the switch allowing marketers to target advertisements based on the recent emojis tweeted out by individual users. According to the social platform, more than 110 billion emojis have been tweeted since being added to the service in 2014, and with emojis indicating a somewhat closer correlation with the specific emotion users are tweeting about, they could prove a powerful bank for marketers to draw off of in the future.
It's another step forward for the emoji as something more than a throwaway addition to texting platforms. Leveraging them as marketing assets may be a feasible first step away from their original, non-consequential forms. With some FinTech experts throwing emojis around as a means of securing and accessing financial accounts, the emoji may not be a source of innocuous fun for much longer.