Matthew HusseyCommissioning Editor
Matt Hussey was the former Editor-in-Chief for The Next Web. Previously he worked on the launch of Wired UK, ShortList and Mr Porter. He's b Matt Hussey was the former Editor-in-Chief for The Next Web. Previously he worked on the launch of Wired UK, ShortList and Mr Porter. He's been an active contributor to GQ, FHM, Men's Health, Yahoo, The Daily Telegraph and maintains a blog on Huffington Post
Who decided the? emoji would be a good idea? What sage thought the ? emoji should be this way up? And could someone please, once and for all, explain what happened to this guy ??
Well, as it turns out, it’s a bunch of seemingly quite serious looking men and women at The Unicode Consortium – whose website looks like they just ??? non-stop.
Over on Product Hunt, Nathan Bashaw has been working on a mini e-book that delves into the history of the Consortium, and how it came to be the purveyor of all things ?.
The Consortium is a non-profit located in Silicon Valley – that originally started out to help standardize how computers handle letters and numbers.
That was way back in 1991 when PC manufacturers loved nothing more than creating encoding systems that other computers couldn’t understand.
So a bunch of engineers got together to form the consortium – which was all good until 2006 when the companies that helped fund the Consortium’s work – namely Microsoft, Apple and Google – wanted a slice of the Japanese market which was already ?❤️???❤️?? for the little icons.
The Consortium were like ? and that little thumbs up changed the nature of what the non-profit did forever.
Flash forward to today and they now are in charge of the fastest growing language in the UK, and I presume many other places, too.
When evaluating whether to add ? or a ? emoji need to be able to satisfy three criteria:
Is it in demand?
Is there a gap in the market?
And will people actually use it?
If it were me, I’d add this and be done with it. But I’m not in charge. On with the story. Once the Consortium has justified the above, it then releases a glyph which companies can then interpret as they wish.
Which is why you get things like this:
There’s a lot more detail in the book that Nathan has produced, and it’s free, so go and give him some love. Or else.
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