Emoji Timeline

A timeline of cultural and technical events in the history of emoji



Shigetaka Kurita's 176 emojis

Shigetaka Kurita creates 176 emojis for the release of the Japanese mobile phone operator NTT DoCoMo’s integrated mobile internet service “i-mode”, debuting in February of 1999. The service only allowed for 250 characters which gave Kurita the challenge to figure out a way to communicate in an expressive but short way. Even though the emoji set isn't the first, it is the first to get widespread use and ultimately make emoji a worldwide phenomenon.

The Original First Emojis
Courtesy: Shigetaka Kurita/NTT DoCoMo