Telling stories with Emoji…📝💬📖😄

As they might have said in Zoolander…
m7n15What with instagram revealing 56% of UK comments include at least one emoji, it being declared the fastest growing language EVER, journalists writing news articles in emoji and someone even translating a film into emoji.

My fave emoji fact of the last month is that Instagram won’t allow you to search for the aubergine emoji as it tends to be used in conjunction with NSFW content (there is no cucumber in emoji).

ANYWAY… as they are “so hot right now!” I have been experimenting with them for a work project. That hasn’t been published yet (hopefully soon), but I also wanted to have a go at writing something for me using them (I am sure I can’t be the first person to have done this, but I enjoyed it so there!):

Three Little Pigs in Emoji


(my blog’s support of emoji is a bit spotty – so I have done it as a picture instead).

First thing I noticed is how much more I could say with emoji. That is the whole story of the three little pigs in one tweet! I was also pleasantly surprised how well it was supported. The whole thing was understandable on twitter on both my desktop and mobile device. It worked on Facebook mobile too. Facebook desktop however…was…odd:


There are some characters that are unsupported – either by my computer or Facebook itself – but I can live with that. The weirdness came when I clicked “See More”:


It’s a bit like Facebook gives up halfway through. Some of those later squares should be coded as pigs…but for whatever reason they aren’t. It is almost like Facebook is encoding some of the status as unicode and the rest as something else. It does seem to be a Facebook thing, as it doesn’t seem to work on any of the browsers I tested it on, and it applies even if you link to the exact page of the update (bypassing the expand thing).

If anyone knows what is happening here I’d love to know!

Couple of other things to say quickly that I have learned about Emoji storytelling:

  • Test your story. Again and again. before releasing it. The thing I was working on at work got COMPLETELY misinterpreted in a very damaging way by one of my test subjects. Not an issue as I can redraft it, but it could have been a nightmare (my test subject is less emoji literate than me and that makes her a great test  – as it needs to work for the many, not just the few!)
  • is AMAZING! It is like a click to add emoji keyboard that you can use to build your story. My only gripe is that I can’t save my stories – so I have to copy them into notepad AND THEN REMEMBER TO SAVE AS UNICODE FORMAT NOT ASCII!
  • I was particularly proud of “Once upon a time” and using “passport control” for “let me come in”. Yes it’s obscure…but it also made me smile!

I hope you enjoyed the story – it shouldn’t be too difficult to do red riding hood too I should think!


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