Secret history of the poop emoji


The 2007 project to bring emoji to Android -- and thence to the Web -- involved an epic battle over the inclusion of the much-loved "pile of poop" emoji, whose significance to the Japanese market was poorly understood by various reactionary elements at Google.

The "oral history of the poop emoji" is a series of first-hand accounts of how the poop's champions at Google won the day, and brought the lovable shit to the west.

Ryan: How powerful is it that this language just takes a few marks and all of a sudden a completely new experience is read? It’s not surprising that that comes from languages that have a basis in graphic symbols—from Japan or from China. Those languages are constructed with similar types of images. A tree looks like a tree in Chinese (樹), and a forest is multiple trees (森林). It’s very appropriate that we’re following the lead of languages that are more or less graphic. It’s actually really, really powerful. This was not a way to communicate 10 years ago, but now there’s nary an email that I don’t send out without a smiley face or something on it.

Chaplin, the movie, has a scene when Charlie Chaplin is recalling the magical moment in which he constructed the tramp costume. The cane, the hat, the walk, the moustache just came together magically in what would be one of the most iconic characters of all time. In my own mythology of myself, designing of the poop would’ve been like that.

The Oral History Of The Poop Emoji (Or, How Google Brought Poop To America) [Lauren Schwartzberg/Fast Company]

(via Dan Hon)