Instagram did an analysis on the usage of emoji in captions and comments on the service. From the time Apple released the emoji keyboard for iOS in October 2011, the use of emojis has skyrocketed. Now, nearly half of all text on the site contains emoji characters.
They applied some natural language processing to determine what words are semantically similar to some of the more popular emoji characters — essentially finding the definition of emojis. I’m not much of an emoji user (never typed a single one) but I do find this fascinating. It’s incredible how popular emoji has become and I love that someone is taking a step back to try and figure out what this phenomenon really is and how it’s changing our vocabulary.