World Emoji Day is an annual unofficial holiday occurring on 17 July, intended to celebrate emoji; in the years since the earliest observance, it has become a popular date to make product or other announcements and releases relating to emoji.
The date originally referred to the day Apple premiered its iCal calendar application in 2002. The day, July 17, was displayed on the Apple Color Emoji version of the calendar emoji (📅) as an Easter egg.
World Emoji Day is “the brainchild of Jeremy Burge” according to CNBC which stated that the founder of Emojipedia created it in 2014.
The New York Times reported that Burge created this on 17 July “based on the way the calendar emoji is shown on iPhones”. For the first World Emoji Day, Burge told The Independent “there were no formal plans put in place” other than choosing the date. The Washington Post suggested in 2018 that readers use this day to “communicate with only emoji”.
NBC reported that the day was Twitter’s top trending item on 17 July in 2015.
Since 2017, Apple has used each World Emoji Day to announce upcoming expansions to the range of emojis on iOS.
On World Emoji Day 2015, Pepsi launched PepsiMoji which included an emoji keyboard and custom World Emoji Day Pepsi cans and bottles. These were initially released in Canada and expanded to 100 markets in 2016.
In 2016, Sony Pictures Animation used World Emoji Day to announce T. J. Miller as the first cast member for The Emoji Movie, Google released “a series of new emoji that are more inclusive of women from diverse backgrounds”, and Emojipedia launched the first World Emoji Awards. Other World Emoji Day announcements in 2016 came from Disney, General Electric, Twitter, and Coca-Cola.
London’s Royal Opera House presented 20 operas and ballets in emoji form, Google announced the end of its blob emoji and winners of the World Emoji Awards were announced from the trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange and broadcast on Cheddar.
In 2018, Kim Kardashian released her Kimoji fragrance line on World Emoji Day, Apple previewed new emoji designs including redheads and replaced executive photos on its corporate leadership page with emojis, Google announced the return of “blob emojis” in sticker form, and Facebook announced that “700 million emojis are used in Facebook posts each day”.
On World Emoji Day 2019 the award for Most Popular New Emoji was announced as the Smiling Face With Hearts In 2020 the Most Popular New Emoji was announced as the White Heart on Australia’s The Morning Show.
Microsoft used World Emoji Day in 2021 to preview an overhaul to the Windows emoji set using the Fluent Design System for the first time. Facebook used World Emoji Day 2021 to announce Soundmojis, Google unveiled a solution for faster emoji updates on Android, and Emojipedia revealed sample images for the latest emoji draft list.