Meet Emojli, the emoji-only social network

  • AFP
  • Updated: Jul 02, 2014 11:23 IST

It's getting ready to launch as an app on iOS and will demand that even members' usernames be made up solely of emoji.

Tom Scott and Matt Grey's idea for Emojli, a social network that forsakes all other forms of communication in favor of emoji, is not as wacky as it may first sound.
Emoji, which originally grew out of the Wingdings typeface, have evolved into a language of their own with a vocabulary almost as rich as English. Only last month another 250 graphics were added to the list, offering users everything from an emoji middle finger to an image of the Vulcan spread fingered salutation.

And unlike English, or any other written and spoken language for that matter, emoji are universal -- a smiley face is a smiley face. And, with the proliferation of social networks, social network users and the ubiquity of smartphones and messaging services like Line and WhatsApp, it's already got to the point where a status update, post or text isn't complete without an emoji somewhere in the mix.

As co-creator Tom Scott explained: "Matt [Grey] and I both came up with the idea and figured if we didn't build it someone else would. We weren't sold on it until we came up with the idea that even the usernames should be emoji -- at which point we both burst out laughing and decided to build it."

The two are very serious that although the site sounds like a joke, it is not an exercise in satire and that they are fully behind the network. As they say in their launch video, unlike traditional social networks, Emojli will be a haven for anyone trying to escape spam, trolls, memes and hashtags. And that's partly because there's no emoji for spam and thanks to the limited amount of images in the Unicode emoji library, the worst message someone on the network can possibly send is a pile of poo or the aforementioned middle finger.

Since putting up the invite page and opening an Emojli Twitter account on Monday, the network has already attracted 10,000 signups who, like initial Twitter members, will be able to gloat that their username is a single (graphical) character.

Emojli is coming soon. In the meantime check out the video or reserve your emoji-only username. And, if your image of choice has already be taken, don't panic, there are 250,000 two-emoji username combinations remaining.

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