Finding humour in the heatwave

Us Brits absolutely love a moan, the weather’s dull and miserable for 11 months of the year, and the one time we get some sunshine, it’s social media pandemonium as Blighty becomes; “too hot”.

We feel you here at Mosaic, it is warm, but come on, let’s all lighten up a bit just like the weather has and enjoy it whilst it lasts.

The heatwave may be draining but it’s brought us plenty of laughs in the office, and now it’s our turn to showcase 10 of the most humorous heatwave tweets we’ve seen – it might make sticking to your chair that little bit more bearable.

1. Dave

Dave, aka the home of witty banter, has summed up 99% of the population with this clever tweet. We’d argue that there’s not enough complaints in that list though.

Social media - twitter - Dave

 

2. Innocent Drinks

You have to laugh at the drinking tea part, its 30 + degrees and even we’ve got the kettle on here at Mosaic, because nothing cools you down like a scalding hot mug of water. We’re jealous of the desk fans though, even if they may have melted. We might have to pester the bosses for some of those bad boys – heatproof ones of course.

Social media - twitter - innocent drinks

 

3. The Poke

There’s work to be done so unfortunately, this isn’t us. We’re thinking about beer o’clock 24/7 though, because who wouldn’t love an ice-cold pint to help cool off?! Our time will come through, we all like to enjoy a beer together in the office every Friday (will probably be raining Friday now! *nervously checks weather forecast*)

Social media - twitter - the poke

4. Money Saving Experts

We like your style Money Saving Expert, using the heatwave as an excuse to plug the sales of fans – genius. Just look at that gif too?! It’s a hot doggo with a paper towel patting his ‘lil face, adorable.

Social media - twitter heat wave - money saving team

5. Pretty Little Thing

Yep, well there’s no cooler colour than black?! We mean style of course, those skinny jeans are now spray-painted on forever and half the office looks like they’ve just cannonballed into the nearest public pool.

Social media - twitter heat wave - pretty little thing

6. Marty Lawrence

Politics and heatwave news, a double whammy in the trending section. This one probably got the most laughs, so bravo Mr @TeaAndCopy.

Social media - twitter heat wave - marty lawrence

7. Official Weather UK

Never has the bin that holds all the rubbish ever seemed so appealing. Roll on 5pm for the wheelie bin bathathon.

Social media - twitter heat wave - official weather uk

8. Graham Love

PENGUINS DIE IN HOT CARS, ok so maybe stuffed ones won’t but, at least give him a bit of air by leaving the window open a tad.

Social media - twitter heat wave - graham love penguin in a car

9. Kristen Powers

Its times like these that we really wish most UK homes and buildings had air conditioning units fitted as standard. *wipes dripping brow*

Social media - twitter heat wave - kristen powers

10. Mosaic Digital Media

Last but not least, a shameless plug for Mosaic Digital Media. There’s a very serious message behind this tweet though, so please be safe during the heatwave.

Social media in Warrington- twitter heatwave - mosaic digital media

P.S. If you fancy a good belly laugh, look no further than Tom’s smooth moves, coming to a dancefloor near you soon.

Have you seen any other funny posts regarding #heatwave2019? Let us know on Twitter.

Matt’s First Week

Mini Bio

Name: Matt Crosby
Age: 24
Football team: Liverpool (6x)
Countries visited: 40…and counting
Favourite film: Man on Fire (or Home Alone 2 when Christmas rolls around)
Favourite podcast: Tailenders

 

Question 1. What do you do?

My official title is Social Account Manager & Content Writer, so a real Bombay Mix of everything.

It’s my job to keep all the plates spinning for the many excellent clients we have here at Mosaic Digital Media, from creative blog writing to social media management and website copy.

Basically, if it involves words on a screen, I’m your man.

Question 2. What’s your background?

Since graduating in Journalism back in 2016, I have been a copywriter in both sport and travel.

I have also volunteered at Wrexham AFC as part of their media team, and this summer I had the privilege of working in the broadcast and communications team at the Cricket World Cup.

Question 3. What are the values that drive you?

Hard work is definitely up there, and I like to think it pays off. Far too many are complacent and happy to do the minimum, but that extra effort will keep you striving for more success and get ahead of the crowd.

Confidence is also key, but as long as it doesn’t come across as arrogance. Clients are putting a lot of faith in your hands, and being shy, nervous or hesitant to do something just won’t sit right.

Finally, I’d say honesty, I used to do a lot of blog work in a previous job, and you come across plenty of people who I’d describe as ‘blaggers’, rather than ‘bloggers’.

Honesty helps build trust and will ensure all parties flourish.

Question 4. What do you like about working at Mosaic Digital Media?

The workplace environment is ideal, it’s laidback but fast paced at the same time.

No two days are the same, there’s such a wide array of things to do and as the company continues to grow it’ll only get better.

Mosaic Digital Media also manage to keep a great rapport with their clients, and it’s great to see the smiles on their faces as they get the results they want.

Question 5. When you’re not working, what do you like to do to relax?

I’m always on the go so I can’t say I get to relax much. I’m a serial ‘travelholic’ so it’s rare to find me at home on the weekend.

I love exploring new cultures and countries and try to go on as many city breaks I can each year.

Asides from travel, it’s either sport or music-related. I follow Liverpool home and away, Lancashire and England cricket and I’m also prone to a bit of tennis should the Wimbledon ballot gods be in my favour.

My bank account would appreciate it if I went a bit easier on the concerts front too. I think I’ve been to that many that I’m getting a bit bored now. I’d say my top 3 gigs I’ve witnessed are the Rolling Stones at Hyde Park, Eminem in Oslo and Coldplay in Paris.

James’ first month

Meet James Brewer, he is one of the newest recruits at Mosaic Digital Media. We wanted to give him a real introduction to everyone so you can all get to know him a little more. We sat him down and asked him a few questions about himself, what he enjoys about working with us and how his first month with us has been so far. Take a look at his answers below;

 

Question 1. What do you do?

“I’m a Junior Web Designer. I mostly work with HTML and CSS/SCSS, undertaking smaller projects and BAU work to help develop my skills and learn new technologies.”

 

Question 2. What are your biggest challenges as a Web Designer?

“Knowing when to call something finished: whether it’s trying to find the perfect image or adding fancy finishing touches with CSS. I always feel like things can be improved in some way.”

 

Question 3. What part of the process do you find most rewarding?

“The most rewarding part of the process for me comes from problem-solving. Using trial and error to find a solution to a particular problem, learning from the process about how to approach similar problems in the future.”

 

Question 4. Which new trend or feature in digital do you feel has the most impact for business/your area of expertise?

“I believe the widespread introduction of VR will dramatically change the web industry. No longer will sites or applications be limited to a 2-dimensional space, designers will potentially be able to create entirely 3d bespoke experiences for users. This will bring forward new and different challenges, technologies, and ways of looking at web design.”

 

Question 5. When you’re not working, what do you like to do to relax?

“In my spare time, I enjoy playing video games, listening to music and cooking. I also enjoy running and have been slowly teaching myself to play the guitar.”

The Cached and the Furious

At Mosaic Digital Media, one of the simplest and silliest issues we always have is our websites incorrectly displaying our changes after we have made them. Naturally, this makes us pull our own hair out as we are certain that we have done everything correctly, yet the website says otherwise. The usual culprit to this phenomenon is the browser cache.

Before we get started on how to fix this issue if and when you stumble across it (as we most certainly think you will) lets first go over what exactly is a cache and if it is so detrimental to our work why it does exist?

A cache is a collection of temporary files or data that is stored either on your personal computer (local cache), within the websites hosting (server cache) or on whatever platform you’re accessing the internet from (browser cache). The use of a cache is to save the server the trouble of sending every file needed to view the website over to you every time the page is refreshed, this of course then saves you the trouble of having to download the files every time allowing the site to load faster.

Clearing your cache on different devices

With the explanation and breakdown of what a cache is out of the way, it becomes more obvious on what the actual issue is. Since we have already downloaded the files and saved them in the cache we are not getting our newly edited files until the old ones have been removed! So how exactly DO you remove a cache from your computer? Well, you have come to the right place, read on and we’ll cover what to do when clearing your cache on whichever device you are using in Google/Safari.

Windows/Linux:

When clearing your cache on a Windows/Linux device you want to do the following steps:

1. Press F12 (This will bring up a window of code, ignore this and click back into the browser)

2. Right Click the refresh page icon

3. Left Click the option “Empty Cache and Hard Reload”

Mac:

To start clearing your cache on a Mac device you want to do the following steps:

1. Hold Down the Shift Key

2. Left Click the refresh page icon

Android:

To start clearing your cache on an Android device you want to do the following steps:

1. Press the 3 Vertical Dots located in the upper right section of the screen

2. Press the “Settings” option in the dropdown

3. Press the “Privacy” option in the “Settings” screen

4. Press the “Clear Browsing Data” option in this screen

5. Choose which elements you would like to clear (in this case the cache) then press “Clear”

Apple:

To clear your cache on an Apple device you want to do the following steps:

1. Press the “Settings” option on the Apple device

2. Press the “Safari” option

3. Press the “Clear History and Website Data” option

Note: This will also remove your browsing history

Mosaic can increase your sales with our marketing prowess and expertise in SEO, SMO, and Web Design. Contact us on 01925 563 960 or contact us using our contact form to see what we can do to promote your business.

Top 3 Favourite Website Easter Eggs

Easter, the excuse to eat as much chocolate as we can, is here and we’ve already started stockpiling our eggs for the long weekend. Although we will be still hard at work like always during this time, we thought we would share some of our website tricks with you. What better secrets to share than that of the Website Easter Egg hunt!

Hidden around the depths of the internet are some sneaky secrets and reserved references that are hidden away waiting to be found. This kind of secret or reference is known as an Easter Egg in the technology industry. Many of these tricks are not very well known and are not immediately apparent, usually requiring input from you to uncover these hints. Although we would never be able to cover all the Easter Eggs that are out there, we can certainly highlight our Top 3 Favourite Website Easter Eggs.

 

3. Konami Code on Digg.com

Rick Roll Easter egg

Digg.com is a popular internet news source for a variety of different subjects and hot topics. Hidden away in its code however is a small gem, a piece of code that detects user input on the keyboard and will execute a function if the correct combination is typed in, just like a combination lock.

Around the internet there is a certain popular key combination called the Konami Code that acted as a cheat code in the video game Contra, if you input the following keys into digg.com you are rewarded with an Easter Egg of Rick Astley singing ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’, this is known as being “Rickrolled”.

The keys to the Konami Code are: Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A

 

2. YouTube is Awesome

YouTube is awesome Easter Egg

I am pretty certain that just about every person who is reading this blog knows about YouTube, however, do they know about any of the Easter Eggs that YouTube has to offer? Although YouTube has many Easter Eggs scattered around its site, I will only highlight one of them, the most awesome one.

In a similar fashion to how the Konami Code works on digg.com, YouTube has its own variant where if you type the word “awesome” on your keyboard whilst watching a video the progress bar will start flashing through all of the colours of the rainbow. Don’t worry though if you find this Easter Egg annoying or distracting you can just type “awesome” again and it will go away.

 

1. The Most Meta Easter Egg

Wikipedia Easter Egg

The best way to describe the Internet phenomenon of the Easter Egg is perhaps with a link to the Wikipedia article that details it right? Not so you can read it of course but because there’s an actual Easter Egg hidden on that page too!

Although this Easter Egg may not be as fancy or as fun as some of the other ones on our list we feel that this deserves a place for how it manages to be both meta and descriptive. To find the Easter Egg on this page all you have to do is click the hedgehog in the upper right image on the page, you can also hover over the hedgehog for a little sentence of what the hedgehog thinks of this whole ordeal.

In Conclusion

Now armed with your newfound knowledge of the Konami Code you can go and explore the heights and depths of the internet and check all your favourite websites to unveil their secrets on your Website Easter Egg hunt. Why not start with our site and find our hidden Easter Egg?

From everybody here, at Mosaic, we wish you a Happy Easter! If you need any help or would like to enquire about any of our services and find out how we can help you, please contact us on 01925 563 960 or Contact Us.

Opus Diem Launch in Warrington

Carpe Diem has launched a new digital co-working space in the centre of Warrington, Opus Diem. The cosy environment within the Pyramid Arts Centre is complete with co-working spaces, interactive meeting rooms, pods, chill-out spaces and a giant hall, giving the opportunity to entrepreneurs and creative thinkers to share ideas, work together and hold events such as last night’s #OpusOpenHouse.

We at Mosaic Digital Media are looking forward to making use of the new prospect, which will prove to be a great way of pulling together the digital community in Warrington.

 

 

To kick-start the launch of #OpusOpenHouse last night, we had the opportunity to listen to three very different but equally engaging and thought-evoking speakers, each with different values and thoughts to offer.

The first speaker was Ian Carroll from Solutioneers UK, who is dedicated to quantifying and visualising work processes in order to increase productivity in the workplace.

 

 

He began by demonstrating why it is important to improve quality and productivity using a ‘pull’ process rather than the ‘push’ routine which most companies find themselves in.

We are all guilty of leaving a task unfinished before moving onto the next, right? Carroll stated it is essential to only take on a few tasks at a time. He also encourages team members to physically stand up and view the board of work at the beginning of the day, which stimulates team members to communicate more with each other and prioritise which tasks to complete first.

Dr Amy from Hoo Are Yoo was up next – she had us in stitches during her speech. Amy brought to light the psychopathic and narcissistic qualities that you can spot online, using Donald Trump as a very valid example!

 

 

Did you know that 65% of current jobs will not exist in 12 years?  For this reason, it is essential that we make sure kids (who are dead set on being vloggers nowadays!) are equipped for the digital shift, which has already started. This means introducing new curriculum, such as coding, into schools.

Using Lego, Gareth from the Creative Hut exemplified that creativity and innovation declines with age, stressing that we must connect with our inner child in order to allow the creativity to flow in our working environment. The simple task of making a duck out of Lego brought to light the numerous ways in which one process can be accomplished, validating that it is important not to block your creativity or give in to the temptation of following the crowd.

 

 

The launch of Opus is a game-changer for Warrington. The new space allows for different thinkers – such as the three individual influencers who spoke at last night’s launch – to be able to share their ideas and collaborate with each other.  At the heart of Warrington and in the midst of the growing Cultural Quarter, the space is also a great way of encouraging Warrington to support local businesses – perfectly illustrated by the home distilled gin that we were served by 3 Pugs Gin as the event came to a finish.

As a full-service digital agency who are able to provide innovative Web Design, SEO, eCommerce and effective social media campaigns we are very excited to join forces with the digital community and be part of the exciting wider digital movement in Warrington!

 

 

 

Who won the Digital Marketing World Cup 2018?

The World Cup is sadly over, with England placing fourth after creating a frenzy on Social Media following their exhilarating performance – but which company took the opportunity of the World Cup to promote their products the best?

Aldi

In 3rd place we have Aldi’s clever marketing scheme where they announced that they would give their colleagues an early finish in celebration for the England match if they reached the finals. This is cleverly put together by using a simple England flag, catching the eyes of many dedicated England fans, with a catchy rhyme and the Aldi logo in the corner. Although Aldi didn’t take full advantage of the trending topic by not linking it to any of their products, their brand name has certainly been put out into the public eye especially with the use of the #BringItHome hashtag.

World Cup Marketing at Aldi

Aldi also made an on-topic reference to the ‘it’s coming home’ song, one which has been sung throughout the duration of the World Cup by football fans. They also refer to the ‘12th man’, suggesting that their employees have a potentially helpful role just like the 12th player has in the football game – we think this is an excellent way of showing their contribution to the celebration of England in the World Cup.

IKEA

In 2nd place, we have IKEA, whose marketing strategy was to make their traditionally English staple food, fish and chips, £1. This drives profit to their store as they’re not only promoting their food options, but their furniture too. One of their products, a coat stand, is featured and personified as praising England’s efforts in the World Cup following the Swedish defeat. We think this demonstrates their sportsmanship and sense of humour. Ultimately, the advert has a welcoming and friendly tone to it which is why they deserve 2nd place.

World Cup Marketing at IKEA

World Cup Marketing at Ikea

Marks & Spencers

At the top in 1st place, we have the winner of the marketing World Cup 2018: Marks and Spencer! Not only did they link their product to the World Cup, but they also created their own successful hashtag #luckywaistcoat, with loads of fans using it and even tagging M&S themselves. The fact that they are an ‘official tailor to the England team’ also makes the link more relevant and has encouraged England fans to go out and buy their own lucky waistcoat. The simple, bold red colour they used is eye-catching for England fans and symbolises the colours for England’s team. The reference to Southgate’s waistcoat is genius and targets a specialised audience only football fans would understand.

World Cup Marketing at M&S

World Cup Marketing at Marks and Spencers

World Cup Marketing

Like IKEA, M&S have also linked other products to their marketing scheme such as Percy Pig, a famous mascot of theirs, which helps promote and reference their products to the World Cup which gains further interest from potential customers and encourages them to spend there.

Just like what these brilliant and growing companies have done, clever marketing is essential for businesses to create a digital presence. Contact us to see how we can help you get your brand name out there.

GDPR: What does it mean and how can you comply?

 

What is GDPR?

The General Data Protection Regulation Law, more commonly known as GDPR, is a newly updated law within the European Union. This law took effect on May 25th 2018 with the intention of giving people control over their personal information and how it is handled by any organisation with access to that data.

Why am I receiving GDPR emails?

Because of this new law, many companies now have to update their privacy policies to comply with GDPR. These companies then have to send out update emails to make sure that their customers are aware of these changes and can opt out of any future if they desire. Not complying with this new law can land the company with a substantial fine of either 4% of the company’s global revenue or €20 Million, whichever is higher! If you are a company owner and are unsure if your site is GDPR compliant or are unsure how to make your website compliant please feel free to Contact Us or call us on 01925 563 960 and we can do it for you!

Does this law apply to me?

In short, more than likely yes. If you are a business owner that collects data of any user that is a resident of the EU then this law applies to you! Even if you are not a business located within the European Union, this law will apply to you as long as European residents have access to your website. Even if you are only a small business with few employees or even self-employed this law still does apply to you, the law may make few exceptions but on a broad scale expects every business, large or small, to comply with it.

What is required to make my website GDPR Compliant?

Whilst I will not cover all the points that the GDPR hits (as there is so many of them) I will cover the general website related issues with a broad stroke. If you would prefer us to do it for you, please feel free to Contact Us or call us on 01925 563 960.

Before collecting any data from an EU user, you must first acquire clear-cut consent that tells the user exactly what they are signing up for, what you are doing with the information that they are supplying you, where that data is being stored and how you are storing it. For example if you plan to be sending them any emails or putting them on a mailing list, they must be made abundantly aware of your intentions.

To make sure that you meet the criterion you must make sure any checkboxes that relate to sharing information are not pre-ticked and that any terms regarding their information must be separated from other terms and conditions. An effective solution to comply with this is by creating a privacy policy page that is separate from your terms and conditions page. The privacy policy page will then cover all the points regarding the user’s information in a neatly presented format. Make sure to link the user to this page so they can see it and read it before accepting!

Even though we can make your website GDPR compliant, we cannot write the privacy policy on your behalf, you will have to write this yourself. Don’t be alarmed though! WordPress, the CMS we primarily use, has now started issuing Privacy Policy templates for each new build we do so all that will be required from you is edit the supplied content to make it personal for you!

In Conclusion

If you are still concerned about your website not being GDPR compliant, please feel free to read the full GDPR document here and Contact Us or call us on 01925 563 960 if you need assistance.

A Look Back at 2017!

Well, the year has nearly come to an end for Mosaic Digital Media as our team puts in the final few weeks of hard work ready for the Christmas shutdown. So, we felt this was a great opportunity to reflect on 2017 and sum up the changes and progress Mosaic Digital Media have made. It’s been a successful year!

We started 2017 with plans to grow gradually, without any external investment or debt. Well, we certainly achieved this with exceptional results and growth whilst still maintaining this strategy.

So what exactly has happened this year? Let’s update you on a few changes we have made.

  • The launch of our New Brand – We were very excited to launch our new www.mosaicdigitalmedia.co.uk website, featuring a bespoke WordPress theme and our new logo. Through collaboration and creativity we engage our audience to drive our business!
  • New Faces – Throughout the year we’ve been excited to have new people join our team but sad to see some people go. But we now feel we have the right team to aid with growth and strategy. We’re extremely proud of our Apprenticeships Scheme as it’s been a great way to develop existing staff whilst introducing new talent into our business.
  • Building our Portfolio – We’ve been very busy building our portfolio. We’ve been extremely lucky this year to work with new clients such as, Controlla Covers, CPI Card Group, SocialLifeUk and Manchester Casino Academy to name a few. Featuring API integrations, event management systems and WooCommerce.
  • We Moved – With the need for bigger space, Mosaic Digital Media secured office space at The 1st Floor Lodge,
    Tannery Court in Warrington. A few minutes’ walk from Warrington Central Station. Boasting a spacious and modern space, with a pool table and an energetic and friendly environment to get those ideas flowing!
  • New Leaders – From April we recruited two very talented people whose jobs are simply to build a powerful team and change the way we handle and manage all digital projects. Between them, they have 15 years digital expertise. If you haven’t yet spoken to Stacey or Liam, please get in touch.

This is a short rundown of my highlights from 2017, so we are all very excited to enter 2018 with what we believe is an extremely strong foundation and first-class digital team.

Mosaic Digital Media will close at 1pm on 22nd December for the Christmas break. We will be back on the 2nd January 2018 and cannot wait to continue our hard-work and progression. We wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

We look forward to working with you in 2018!

Meet our Digital Marketing Manager

Stacey is our Digital Marketing Manager and is responsible for overseeing the delivery of all digital projects across current and new clients. She works closely with our current client base and digital team to deliver an enjoyable experience for the user across all devices, based on the client’s bespoke requirements. So you can know a little bit about Stacey we asked the following questions:

How long have you worked in web design, and what experience did you have before Mosaic Digital Media?

“I have worked in the digital industry since 2008, starting out at The Hut Group. Since then I have worked on many eCommerce and WordPress website, helping to deliver the full package from Design, SEO, SMO to Frontend Development. Working with amazing brands such as Charlotte Tilbury, Soap & Glory, The Gro Company, Silent Night, Better Bathrooms, Dawsons and Zavvi.”

What are you passionate about?

“I’m passionate about the user experience, problem-solving and keeping up to date with the latest digital trends. I work with CSS, Sass, HTML and a little jQuery as well as a Photoshop, lots of post-it notes and my favourite purple pen (Thanks, Rich!).”

“I pride myself in being proactive but also process driven to achieve the ultimate end goal. I try to follow a robust project plan, from the scoping session through to the design, build and most importantly testing. Delivering projects using a combination of tools including Basecamp, Dropbox, Teamwork and Google Docs. Making an impact and creating online brand identity everyone can be proud of.”

How have your 6 months at Mosaic Digital Media been?

“Busy, it’s been a roller coaster 6 months! Mosaic Digital Media, is a energetic & creative company who has the drive for success. I’m very proud of our team and the challenges we have overcome in the last few months. Working with multiple clients and partners, helping to deliver to the client specifications. Can’t wait to see what the future holds in our shiny new office. Keep the biscuits rolling!”

Liams First Month At Mosaic Digital Media!

So… It’s been a month since Liam started here at Mosaic Digital Media and we thought that it’s time to introduce him properly! We wanted to help you get to know him the way we do, and that’s why we got him to fill out a questionnaire to narrow himself down to make it easier to get to know him.

1. How long have you worked at Mosaic Digital Media?

“I’ve been working at Mosaic for 1 month.”

2. What do you do?

“I’m a Senior frontend developer. You could describe a frontend developer as a catch-all terms for someone who has expert knowledge in HTML, CSS and JavaScript, has an understanding of UX design and is a dab hand at web design when needed.”

3. What are your biggest challenges as a SEO Specialist/Web Designer/Frontend Developer/Operations Manager/Apprentice etc?

“My biggest challenge as a frontend developer is the actual web design side. I can take a web design and build a fully functional site that matches the design. Ask me to design and build a site and I’m never happy with the result, maybe I’m just overly critical of my own designs.”

4. What part of the process do you find most rewarding?

“Building a site which meets the clients expectations and see that site go live knowing I can be proud of the results.”

5. Which new trend or feature in digital do you feel has the most impact for business/you area of expertise?

“I think the new CSS grid specs and custom properties are going to have a big impact on how we build websites in the next few years. I think we’ll see a decrease in the user of CSS grid frameworks and also a decrease in the use of Preprocessors like SASS and LESS as more and more features are added to vanilla CSS.”

6. When you’re not in the house, what do you like to do to relax?

“In my free time I enjoy playing video games, playing tabletop RPGs and board games, and catching up on my Anime watch list. I’m currently making my way through Persona 5 and planning for a charity Tabletop RPG session where we play for 24 hours straight.”

Are emojis making us better communicators?

Even if you aren’t a smartphone user, it’s a safe bet that you have at least heard of emojis – the small emoticons have become the world’s first universal language, in a way that no other verbal language has been able to do, not even English. English has been hailed as the world’s global language, despite it having less first-language users than Mandarin (900 million) and Spanish (427 million). Thanks to the huge reach of the British Empire in the last century or so, there are around 339 million native speakers of English, with another 942 million speakers using English as a second language. In total, there are around 1.5 billion people around the world that are more or less fluent in English, making its influence undeniable.

The rise of Emojis

Even with all of these impressive figures, the rise of emojis has seen the English language be beaten for the first time ever. True, it’s hard to measure the influence and reach of emojis as accurately as we can with verbal languages – but there are a few ways that we can estimate just how many people use emojis in their daily life. Firstly, we can look at the number of smartphone users, which has seen a huge rise in recent years. Smartphones, to be specific, are any mobile phone that possesses the capabilities to access the internet. Today, almost a quarter of the world’s population own a smartphone, with 2 billion of the devices existing across the globe. In 2016, around 75% of the worlds 3.2 billion internet users were accessing the internet via their smartphones. In 2015, it was estimated that more than 6 billion emojis were exchanged across social media each and every day.

Another way to measure the rise of the emoji is by investigating their use on social media applications. Instagram, for example, has around 300 millions active users per month, with over 70 millions photos and videos being shared every day. With the launch of the emoji keyboard for iOS, the amount of emojis present in Instagram captions and comments rose from 0 to 10%, and by March 2015, almost half of all text on the Instagram application contained emojis. Matthew Rothenberg, a hacker from Brooklyn, has actively tracked the use of emojis on the Twitter application since 2013. Over 16 billion tweets that contain emojis have been tracked since then, which roughly breaks down as hundreds of emoji-containing tweets every second. That’s a lot of emojis!

Lastly, we can measure the use and popularity of emojis by looking at the decline of text slang. Abbreviations were all the rage a few years ago, with the likes of ‘lol’ (laugh out loud), ‘omg’ (oh my god) and ‘imo’ (in my opinion) being used excessively in text messages. Today, we’re seeing these abbreviations be replaced by their corresponding emojis – showing that emojis really can replace actual words and phrases, and can be used as a completely universal form of communication.

The rise of the emoji is undeniable, and the communicative value of these little pictures is unparalleled. They add personality to everyday communications, they allow the expression of emotions that can often be difficult to talk freely about, and they can aid the making of new friends and connections. It was once said that a picture speaks a thousand words – and, in the digital age, this seems to ring true with emojis.