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What is the difference between emoji and emoticons?

Ever wondered, with all the attention that emojis are getting, what exactly is the difference between an emoji and emoticon? Well, in simple terms, an emoji is a cartoon pic of an emotion while an emoticon is a symbol made on your keyboard, such as a colon and a parenthesis making a smiling face! :-) But, there is a little more to them. Some services including versions of Microsoft Word will convert a popular emoticons into an emoji, so you may start with an emoticon and end up with an emoji!

Then, there are those that think emoticons (emotion + icons = emoticons) were designed to show emotion by creating a facial expression such as a smile or a frown, where an emoji is more extensive by showing images of faces, and many other things, including pictures of food, animals, having no emotion. But then, if you think of it, there are common images made with emoticons such as a hug ((())), which some, including me, is not an emotion.

Whatever the case may be, emoticons came first, with emojis emerging later and made popular by Japanese cell phone providers. The first emoticon recorded on record was made back in 1982, wow! Whereas the first set of emojis went live in 1999. Lastly, studies show that young people are more likely to use emoticons with no nose, just a colon and a smiling face. Go figure!

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