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Emojipedia web screenshot (December 18, 2019).png
A screenshot illustrating the Emojipedia's listing for the "🐦" (bird) emoji.
Available inEnglish
EditorJeremy Burge
Alexa rankIncrease 1,258 (December 2019)[1]

Emojipedia is an emoji reference website[2] which documents the meaning and common usage of emoji characters[3] in the Unicode Standard. Emojipedia also publishes articles and provides tools for tracking new emoji characters, design changes and usage trends.[4]

Emojipedia is a voting member of The Unicode Consortium[5] and has been called "the world's number one resource on emoji".[6]


Jeremy Burge[7] created Emojipedia in 2013,[8] and told the Hackney Gazette "the idea came about when Apple added emojis to iOS 6, but failed to mention which ones were new".[9]

Emojipedia rose to prominence with the release of Unicode 7 in 2014, when The Register reported the "online encyclopedia of emojis has been chucked offline after vast numbers of people visited the site"[10] in relation to the downtime experienced by the site at the time.

In 2015, Emojipedia entered its first partnership with Quartz to release an app that allowed users access previously-hidden country flag emojis on iOS.[11]

Emojipedia told Business Insider in early-2016 that it served "over 140 million page views" per year, and was profitable.[12] In mid-2016, Emojipedia "urged Apple to rethink its plan to convert the handgun emoji symbol into a water pistol icon" citing cross-platform confusion.[13]

In 2017 The Library of Congress launched the Web Cultures Web Archive[14] which featured a history of memes, gifs, and emojis from references including Emojipedia, Boing Boing and GIPHY.[15]

The Sydney Morning Herald reported that the site served 23 million page views in October 2017.[16] Total page views for 2013–2019 were said to have reached one billion by February 2019.[17]

World Emoji Day[edit]

World Emoji Day is a holiday created by Emojipedia[18] in 2014[19] which is held on 17 July each year.[20] According to the New York Times, July 17 was chosen due to the design of the calendar emoji (on iOS) showing this date.[21][22]

Emojipedia used the second annual World Emoji Day to release EmojiVote as "an experiment in Emoji democracy".[23] In 2017 and 2018, Apple used this event to preview new emojis for iOS[24][25] and Emojipedia announced the winners of the World Emoji Awards live from the New York Stock Exchange.[26]

Adopt an Emoji[edit]

Emojipedia launched Adopt an Emoji in September 2015 as "an attempt to make the site free of display ads" according to Wired.[27] This preceded a similar program by the Unicode Consortium in December 2015.[28]

The Emojipedia "Adopt an Emoji" program was shut down in November 2016, citing confusion for users and advertisers due to the similarity with Unicode's fundraising effort.[29]

Cultural impact[edit]

Emojipedia's images for future emoji designs have been used as the source of jokes in opening monologues on late night television shows such as The Daily Show,[30] Jimmy Kimmel Live[31] and The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.[32]

In 2018, Portland Maine's Press Herald reported that Senator Angus King had endorsed a new lobster emoji[33] but Emojipedia's design was called out as "anatomically incorrect" due to an incorrect number of legs.[34] The number of legs on Emojipedia's lobster design was subsequently fixed in a future release. Slate reported this as "a victory for scientists and lobster fans everywhere".[35]

Skater Tony Hawk criticized Emojipedia's skateboard design as being "'mid-'80s ... beginner-level' board 'definitely not representative' of the modern sport" and subsequently worked with the company to produce an updated design.[36]

On BBC Radio 4, Stephen Fry described Emojipedia as "a kind of Académie française for your iPhone" when assessing its impact on the English language.[37]

Legal precedent[edit]

In 2018, Emojipedia was presented in the Federal Court of Australia as "a reputable website in telling us how to interpret these faces" by a lawyer for Geoffrey Rush during a defamation case against Nationwide News. This was in the context of interpreting an emoji sent by Rush to a fellow actor, which Rush described as "the looniest emoji I could find".[38] Rush said he would have used an emoji of Groucho Marx or the Muppets' Fozzie Bear if they had been available.[39] Reports indicate Rush's lawyer "attempted to hand up to Justice Michael Wigney a printout of the emoji's meaning from Emojipedia" but a barrister for Nationwide News objected, stating it "doesn't matter what Emojipedia says the emoji is". Justice Wigney agreed that an emoji definition "is in the eye of the beholder": inferring the context within the message was more important than the Emojipedia definition.[40]


  1. ^ "emojipedia.org Site Overview". Alexa Internet. Retrieved 26 December 2019.
  2. ^ Yen, Yap (29 June 2015). "The Definitive Guide To All Things Emoji". Design Taxi. Retrieved 20 July 2015.
  3. ^ Davis, Mark (3 February 2015). "More Unicode Emoji Glyph changes" (PDF). Unicode Consortium. Retrieved 17 March 2015.
  4. ^ Seward, Zachary (4 May 2015). "Microsoft is the only tech company daring enough to support the middle finger emoji". Quartz. Retrieved 5 May 2015.
  5. ^ "Unicode Members". www.unicode.org. Retrieved 6 December 2017.
  6. ^ Shackleton, Emily (15 January 2016). "8 commonly confused emoji and what they really mean". Metro. Retrieved 15 April 2016.
  7. ^ Griffin, Andrew (17 July 2016). "Meet the man whose life work is cataloguing emoji". The Independent. Retrieved 10 October 2016.
  8. ^ Van Luling, Todd (18 November 2014). "Why We Never Got Those 250 New Emoji We Were Promised". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 27 May 2015.
  9. ^ Ibitoye, Victoria (31 March 2016). "8 commonly confused emoji and what they really mean". Hackney Gazette.
  10. ^ Hamill, Jasper (17 June 2014). "Unicode ideogram list-site Emojipedia goes titsup". The Register. London. Retrieved 5 April 2015.
  11. ^ Seward, Zach (10 June 2015). "Say hello to Flags, the world's emoji keyboard for iPhones". Quartz. New York.
  12. ^ Price, Rob (17 January 2016). "Interview with Jeremy Burge, founder of Emojipedia". Business Insider. Retrieved 29 January 2016.
  13. ^ Baraniuk, Chris (5 August 2016). "Apple urged to rethink gun emoji change". BBC. London.
  14. ^ "About this Collection – Web Cultures Web Archive". The Library of Congress. Retrieved 17 August 2017.
  15. ^ "The Library of Congress Archives Web Culture Online". CraveOnline. 16 August 2017. Archived from the original on 17 August 2017. Retrieved 17 August 2017.
  16. ^ Olding, Rachel (2 December 2017). "How Jeremy Burge turned his curiosity with emojis into a six-figure salary". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 6 December 2017.
  17. ^ Swan, David (19 February 2019). "Emojis register serious business". The Australian. Retrieved 18 March 2019.
  18. ^ Schiano di Pepe, Federico. "The Evolution of Emojis: A New Creative Way to Engage With Your Customers". Huffington Post. Retrieved 20 December 2017.
  19. ^ O'Neill Deighan, Emma (17 July 2015). "It's World Emoji Day, how will you celebrate?". Belfast Live. Retrieved 21 April 2016.
  20. ^ Schupak, Amanda (17 July 2015). "Could you use these new emoji in a sentence?". CBS News. Retrieved 19 July 2015.
  21. ^ Varn, Kathryn (17 July 2015). "Letting Our Emojis Get in the Way". The New York Times. Retrieved 20 July 2015.
  22. ^ "📅 Calendar Emoji". emojipedia.org. Retrieved 19 March 2019.
  23. ^ Varn, Kathryn (17 July 2015). "Letting Our Emojis Get in the Way". The New York Times. Retrieved 20 July 2015.
  24. ^ Hern, Alex (17 July 2017). "Apple marks World Emoji Day with beards, headscarves and breastfeeding". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 17 August 2017.
  25. ^ "Apple celebrates World Emoji Day". Apple Newsroom. Retrieved 19 March 2019.
  26. ^ Desk, BWW News. "Winners of World Emoji Awards to be Announced on World Emoji Day". Retrieved 17 August 2017.
  27. ^ Gottsegen, Gordon (4 September 2015). "Adopting Emoji Is Like Adopting Internet Highways". Wired.
  28. ^ McHugh, Molly (16 December 2015). "Why Unicode Is Putting Its Emoji Up For Adoption". Wired.
  29. ^ Burge, Jeremy (14 November 2016). "Adopt Your Emoji at Unicode". Emojipedia.
  30. ^ "Making Room for New Emojis – The Daily Show with Trevor Noah (Video Clip) | Comedy Central". Comedy Central. Retrieved 12 March 2018.
  31. ^ Jimmy Kimmel Live (22 June 2016), Jimmy Kimmel Explains the New Emojis, retrieved 12 March 2018
  32. ^ "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon". www.facebook.com. Retrieved 12 March 2018.
  33. ^ "Lobster". Emojipedia.
  34. ^ "Lobster emoji design stumbles, perhaps for want of 2 more legs". Press Herald. 8 February 2018. Retrieved 12 March 2018.
  35. ^ Barasch, Alex. "The New Lobster and DNA Emojis Are Now Scientifically Accurate. Well Done, Nerds!". Slate Magazine. Retrieved 12 March 2018.
  36. ^ "Bungled Lobster, Skateboard, DNA Emoji Fixed Ahead of Release". Geek.com. 23 February 2018. Retrieved 12 March 2018.
  37. ^ "Words Fail Me, Series 8, Fry's English Delight – BBC Radio 4". BBC. Retrieved 12 March 2018.
  38. ^ McGowan, Michael (24 October 2018). "Geoffrey Rush doesn't want to act again, his wife tells libel trial". the Guardian. Retrieved 29 October 2018.
  39. ^ Whitbourn, Michaela (17 December 2018). "Geoffrey Rush denies harassing Orange Is The New Black star Yael Stone". The Age. Retrieved 9 January 2019.
  40. ^ "Geoffrey Rush's Wife Says Her Husband 'Wept' When He Saw 'King Leer' Front Cover". BuzzFeed. Retrieved 29 October 2018.

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