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Developer(s)Tom Scott, Matt Gray
Initial release29 August 2014 (2014-08-29)
Written inPHP, JavaScript
Operating systemiOS and Android

Emojli was a social application for iOS and Android, created by Tom Scott and Matt Gray. Usernames could contain only emoji and users could only communicate using emoji within the app.[1][2][3]


Tom Scott and Matt Gray were inspired to create the app after seeing the success of Yo and the release of new emoji characters by the Unicode Consortium.[4][5] During a talk at Electromagnetic Field Festival, the developers commented that the app originated largely as a joke, but that by the time of launch 70,000 unique usernames had been reserved.[6] The app was launched on 29 August 2014.[2] After press coverage the developers began receiving offers for venture capital.[7]

Due to the cost and effort of maintaining the application, the developers closed the app on 30 July 2015.[8][7]


The back end of the app was coded by Tom Scott in PHP and MySQL and the front end was designed and programmed by Matt Gray in HTML, CSS and JavaScript.[6] The pair remarked that they ran into problems as not all web browsers supported emoji, and mobile operating system support for them varied. All work on the app was done in their spare time and took a little over a month.[9] An Android version was released on 30 January 2015.[10]


  1. ^ Tweedie, Steven (29 August 2014). "You Can Now Try Out The Ridiculous Emoji-Only Messaging App, Emojli". Business Insider. Retrieved 2 September 2014.
  2. ^ a b Sola, Katie (29 August 2014). "Emoji-only App Debuts, Nixes Words for Tiny Pictures". Mashable. Retrieved 2 September 2014.
  3. ^ Stampler, Laura (1 July 2014). "New, Totally Inevitable Social Network Will Let Users Communicate Only Via Emoji". Time.com. Time. Retrieved 2 September 2014.
  4. ^ Gray, Sarah (2 July 2014). "An emoji-only social network: Ridiculous ... or brilliant?". Salon. Retrieved 2 September 2014.
  5. ^ Solon, Olivia (30 June 2014). "Emoji-only social network Emojli is the new Yo". wired.co.uk. Wired UK. Archived from the original on 31 August 2014. Retrieved 2 September 2014.
  6. ^ a b Turk, Victoria (1 September 2014). "The Creators of Emojli: 'Don't Build an App'". Motherboard. Vice. Archived from the original on 4 September 2014. Retrieved 5 September 2020.
  7. ^ a b Scott, Tom; Gray, Matt (3 December 2015). The End of Emojli: The Post-Mortem. YouTube. Retrieved 12 December 2015.
  8. ^ @Emojli (10 June 2015). "Emojli is closing on 30th July. For more info and to download your old messages, please visit emoj.li ; thank you and goodbye!" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  9. ^ Scott, Tom; Gray, Matt (30 August 2014). "Emojli: Behind the Scenes and Why You Should Never Build An App". YouTube.
  10. ^ @Emojli (30 January 2015). "Our Android app is available! It should work on most recent devices" (Tweet) – via Twitter.

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