Justin Bieber

And from the Biebs feed [emoji commentary in brackets mine]. Remember, when you're considering the state of the world, this guy's wise cultural commentary attracts more than 46 million followers, second only to emoji imposter Katy Perry:
“Not feeling so good. Actually pretty sick. Pulling it together. Argentina [cow+wine] we got a show to do. Love u.”

“Sitting here with food poisoning [triple poo!] and heard we won #bestmale at the #EMAs. Thanks everyone.”

“to all my fans at the hotel. thank u. i love u. but please calm down and respect the police. we dont want anyone gettting hurt.”

The Pope

“I ask all of you to join me in prayer for the victims of Typhoon Haiyan / Yolanda especially those in the beloved islands of the Philippines”

“Saints are people who belong fully to God. They are not afraid of being mocked, misunderstood or marginalized.”

“The fight against evil is long and difficult. It is essential to pray constantly and to be patient.”


Cher has fewer than 2 million followers, but she deserves so much more. Follow her today, for her full exploitation of emoji and her foul-mouthed Tea Party hating. This is also a lady who knows Twitter is a two-way street; she actually engages in conversations, rises to some challenges with appropriate responses. A few here:

Asked about insomnia:
“No ! I'm a fkng Grown up !”

Suggested that she models her life after Lil Kim:
“OMG...You're Right ! I've got 2give that up! Kim....I'm SORRY Wtf R U Talking About?! U Think Kim EVER SAID"DAMN THAT BITCH CHER"
Sexually harassed (told where to sit) in a conservative backlash:
“Ask Ted Cruz, He’s an asshole Too! Its a Marriage Made in Heaven”

President Obama

Note, before I have to get all Cher on anyone, the koala casting decision was made at the time of the government shutdown. Onto this Twitter context, it sure gives giant patriotic quotes about subjects as big as America (in emoji, a tractor and a circus tent) new meaning when they're attributed to a small, fuzzy-faced marsupial.

“This cancer survivor supports #Obamacare because it helps people with pre-existing conditions #GetCovered. http://OFA.BO/LwLzn6”

“’This country works best when we're working together.’ —President Obama #MadeInAmerica”

“’Growing our economy, creating new jobs ... That's always been what America's about.’ —President Obama #MadeInAmerica”

Ellen DeGeneres

Hey, this might be the first short-haired woman for Emoji Major. She works well as the blonde, right? Emoji are post-gender, yay!

“I can't get in the cupboard myself so asked the housekeeper to boost me. I wish I could say this is the weirdest thing I've asked her to do.”
“Big news! Twitter is now on the stock market. Even better news -- I'm pretty sure I own 23 million shares. I'm rich!”
“I ate so much candy. I dunno why people say sugar's bad for you. Now If you'll excuse me, I'll get back to crying on the floor"

Miley Cyrus

Another short-haired female blonde! In Miley's case, you almost don't need the head representation though, just the tongue.

“Stay in school & Be kind. Other than that HAVE FUN [the emoji at the end are Miley's own]”

“no fuckin around on game day”

“I got that shower time showerrrrrr time selfiiiie. (A la lana del ray) #happyemas [Miley's own emoji] pic.twitter.com/tWf3fvsKu0”

Oprah Winfrey

OK...Oprah has apparently become a life coach! Like I said last week, advice is always better when it’s adorable. (Also, in the continued discoveries of emoji discrimination, just try to find an African-American women in there.)

“Did you all meditate today? Tweet, tweet me how you felt. If you
haven't signed up, you can still register here http://bit.ly/19wa1cC”

“We're asked to learn how to keep asking for what we need to learn to
accept what we're given"@marknepo . #supersoulsunday”

“@CarpeDiemJBS @MalikaGhosh Gratitude is the quickest way I know to
raise your Vibration and change your destiny. #SuperSoulSunday”

Neil deGrasse Tyson

Tell me this doesn't look like him, a triumph in emoji casting, right? Here's an astrophysicist who deserves more than 1.5 million followers--surely some picked up in his brilliant fact-checking of Gravity.

“I love the smell of the Universe in the morning.” [Shiny black squares as outer space are a favorite of mine.]

“What would aliens say when told Earthlings shift clocks twice a year to fool themselves into thinking there's more sunlight.”

“Would be funny if all adults conspired on Halloween to do Magic when given the "Trick or Treat" option by kids at the door.”

The Dalai Lama

Ah, the democratic platform of Twitter. If you did not find the meaning of life in Cher or Science, Miley or Bieber, follow the Dalai Lamai (who performs random acts of perfect English and punctuation on Twitter):

“I try to treat whoever I meet as an old friend. This gives me a genuine feeling of happiness.”

“Since we are increasingly interdependent it's time to develop a sense of global responsibility, to help each other and promote human values.”

“Prayer can be of great solace to the individual, but changing the world requires us to take action.”

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Emoji Major No. 14: Twitter, Gone Public...And All-Emoji

It's EMOJI TWITTER time! This week, Zoe Mendelson translates 140 characters into emoji characters.

As if it weren’t already this decade's definition of public, last week Twitter made it official—financial, not just cultural. By most accounts, the IPO proved less of a fiasco than Facebook’s but was still only mildly successful.

Here at Emoji Major, I don’t much care to know the opening, closing, soaring, or stagnant prices of Twitter shares anyway. The exciting fact for my purposes is merely that Twitter is in the news. That means I have an excuse to EMOJI TWITTER FEEDS! Cue the evil laughter.

Aaaha, I really do relish the absurdity in a game of communicating via the two media most often blamed for the kids-today End of Communication. No frontier is too broad or nonsensical for my inane little friends.
Emojifying the Twitter feeds of figureheads is like seeing the world if emoji were the only language we all know—and we all know that’s what I dream of. So I mined a selection of feeds for tweet treats and translated them into tiny cartoons. Presenting the further reduction of society’s most reductive medium, from 140 characters down to far fewer ones (and mostly of the shiny yellow-with-faces kind).
I tried to sample broadly: one politician, two religious figures (I like this because the spiritual category is so un-Twitter-like to begin with), an astrophysicist, one comedian, three musicians, and Oprah. Seven of the nine are in the Twitter top 100. No way was I going to rule out Cher (1.88 million) and Neil deGrasse Tyson (1.51 million) on numbers alone though. I can’t stress enough how much they deserve spots on that list.
For each feed I picked three tweets from the past few weeks. Most striking is the medium's utter lack of hierarchy. Twitter can work as a bizarre news prism, refracting the largest, most tragic events—the devastation in Haiyan—to the most ridiculous and mundane. Thousands of deaths pretty much get the same treatment as Justin Bieber’s bout of food poisoning in Argentina, the EMAs, the Twitter IPO, Ellen hiding in a cupboard to scare Portia as a Halloween prank, and a shower Miley Cyrus took.

No news is broken on Twitter in a larger typeface than the next. The priority and immediacy stays the same—just like in emojiland. Where the Dalai Lama and the Biebs live on the same tweet plane, so in emoji do the shower, the hurricane, Halloween, and poop.

But tweets do vary in tone, and I was curious to see how, or if at all, this differentiation would translate into emoji.
So in the Emoji Major lab this week, we test for tone. Can emoji communicate the subtlety of a personality, the nuance of a message already filtered and reduced through Twitter? See the slides above, and consider them an emoji public offering. Perhaps you'd like to invest...

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