Digital, Marketing

How Emojis are Changing Search

We all have our favorite emojis that we love to use (my favorites are below!). Now brands are experimenting to identify the emoji that best represents their brand and connects with their customers, as well. Most recently, many brands have been experimenting with offering the ability to search by emoji.

A MojiLaLa study recently found that 86 percent of smartphone users in the U.S. regularly use emojis, and that number jumps to 96 percent among those 18 to 34. Fitting in to a customer’s lifestyle and communication, emoji search can also add an element of fun into a customer’s experience with a brand and allows companies to get creative with how emojis can be integrated.

Twitter, Instagram, Google, YouTube and WhatsApp have all added the ability to search using emojis over the last few years. A consumer can be redirected to a brand’s website after searching with its custom emoji, for instance.

Yelp introduced the technology a few years ago after several Yelp engineers developed emoji search during their hackathon and decided to roll it out on the consumer site. Users can type different emojis to find different services or restaurants. For example, if someone enters a pig emoji they will receive a list of restaurants that serve pork.

Kayak is another company that has been able to successfully integrate emoji search into their website. Customers can use the airplane emoji to search flights, or use a specific emoji that is tied to a particular destination. For example, the Statue of Liberty emoji will bring up New York City or the three-leaf clover emoji will bring up Dublin. Kayak even created a poll allowing users to vote on which city should be represented by certain emojis. Kayak released the results on World Emoji Day and received over 170,000 votes.

As more platforms begin enabling this emoji search feature and the technology continues to evolve, we expect that more and more brands will get creative with ways to integrate emoji search with their products or features. Search results from emojis are expected to soon become more refined. Soon a user might even be able to search with more than one emoji at the same time. For example, Google might soon be able to understand that when a user types in the hamburger and French fries emojis, they’re looking for a fast-food restaurant.

As the future of emoji search evolves, possibilities for creativity and integration will grow and become more popular allowing brands and creative agencies more room to think outside the box!

Here at Eclipse, we fortunately have our choice of moon/sun related emoji.

Katie MacDevette

Katie MacDevette

Senior Account Manager at Eclipse Marketing Services
Katie is a skilled multi-platform marketer with deep experience in the entertainment and technology industries. She'd be voted most likely to be wearing cowboy boots in the office.
Katie MacDevette

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