Emoji search is catching on – are you optimised for internet users searching by sad faces and thumbs up? Is this the end of civilization? I want to get off this planet.
I loathe emoji/s. Call me a grumpy old man, I don’t care. That’s a badge I wear with honour when it comes to the scourge that is emoji/are emojis/are emoji or whatever the correct grammar is. What is the plural anyway?
I hate emoji/s because it/they have diminished the value of expression. In the olden days, when you wanted to convey emotion in written form, you would articulate the necessary prose to elicit the desired reaction. If you sought a laugh, you actually had to be funny. If you sought sympathy, you were expected to tell your tale of woe.
No more. The art of communication has been butchered by emoji/s to the point of no return, and now it/they is/are further invading my universe as “emoji search” gains traction in e-commerce. For a while now, the major search engines have had a “search by emoji” function enabled, and much to my dismay, it appears to be taking off. Bing opened Pandora’s Box last October, and Google followed suit in May this year.
Now, in the age of mobile, social and lol (that’s sololmo, God help me, I cannot BELIEVE I am writing about this crap!), an increasing volume of users are inserting emojis in lieu of words (and culture) into search engines to discover product.
For example, a user can throw a pig emoji into Yelp’s search tool to return a list of nearby restaurants that serve pork. Add an aeroplane emoji and a tropical island emoji to a search bar and voila! A list of holiday island resort destinations will appear.
Emoji search is in its embryonic stages now, but at the pace of change in digital retail, don’t expect it to remain under-utilised for long. A recent study by Mojilala showed that 92 percent of US millennials use emoji regularly (the study also indicated only eight percent of US millennials use their brain regularly), so if you are seeking to corner more of Generation Smiley Face’s share of wallet, you may need to start considering a strategy for adapting emoji search to your brand.